On Halfmom's blog, Not Ashamed!, there is an excellent post and interesting discussion about wrestling with God. We agree that Jacob's wrestling was an expression of lack of faith on his part, but I think it was also an expression of faith. For if Jacob would have had no faith, he wouldn't have bothered to wrestle with God, but would have taken matters into his own hands.
Not all wrestling in Scripture is bad. We need to want God's blessing so badly that we refuse to rest until we enter into God's rest. I believe God is pleased with any expression of faith. Though God is not satisfied unless we're growing in our faith. Jacob wrestled with God because his situation looked dire. It looked to him as if God's promise might fail. Certainly a lack of faith there. Contrast an older Abraham (than the younger one, who also failed on this score) who when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac- in whom God's promises lived- obeyed.
I wish I didn't wrestle over certain matters. But I'm not there yet, to a faith which is at rest no matter what. But I want to press into that. To make every effort to enter into God's rest in Jesus and through his promises.
What do you think? Is wrestling with God bad? Or what might be good or bad about it? And I wonder what Jewish tradition on the passage of Jacob wrestling with God, might teach us.
Tomorrow, chapter 2: "Why a Jewish Rabbi?" from Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith, by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg.