Struggling and Prevailing (Part 2)

Please read part one before continuing… Jacob named the place he wrestled with God, “Face of God,” adding that he saw God’s face and was delivered (Gen. 32:30).  In a sense, seeing God’s face and dislocating his hip were of a piece.  Said another way, Jacob’s hip was dislocated because he saw God’s face. We…

Struggling and Prevailing (Part 1)

In fear of meeting his brother, Esau, Jacob sent his family away.  That night, alone, he wrestled with a man until daybreak (Gen. 32:24-32).  The man touched Jacob’s thigh at the hip and put it out of joint.  He told Jacob to release him but Jacob refused, saying he wanted a blessing.  The man told…

Parting Ways

As Jacob increased in wealth, he came into conflict with Laban (Gen. 31:1-2). We’ve seen that Jacob’s increase was the increase of what is spiritual and that this leads to escalating conflict with what is fallen and fleshly. God doesn’t let this conflict go on indefinitely.  God told Jacob to leave Laban.  He brought separation…

Batting Cleanup

I’m delighted that God forgives me.  The fact that the blood of Jesus cleanses every sin is precious (1 John 1:7).  That said, sometimes I feel like a sin factory.  Even if I  apply the blood of Jesus 70 times seven times a day, it gets discouraging.  In fact, it gets worse than discouraging.  It…

A Testament of Devotion

About two years ago I was introduced to Christian Quakerism through the writings of its founder, George Fox.  I found Fox’s focus on the indwelling Christ spiritually rich.  I went on to read An Apology for the True Christian Divinity by Robert Barclay.  This was the first systematic presentation of Quaker beliefs. For Christmas, I received…

Fill in the Blank

Jerome (345-420 AD) was an early church father, scholar, and monk.  He is probably best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (known as “The Vulgate” because Latin was the vulgar or common language). When Jerome was about 30 and a rising academic star, he had a dream that brought his star crashing…

The Failed Christian Life

I have failed at being a Christian.  I have failed morally.  I have failed to be unselfish.  I don’t know if God is always first in my affections.  I’ve never prayed with anyone to receive Christ. My prayer and Bible study habits probably aren’t up to snuff.  In these, and many other ways, I have…

The Son—Come Hell or High Water

Genesis 29:14 through 30:24 tells how Jacob came to have wives and children. Jacob first works seven years to marry Rachel but his father-in-law, Laban, sneaks his older daughter, Leah, into Jacob’s tent on the wedding night. Jacob is furious but receives Rachel also after celebrating his wedding to Leah for a week. Then there’s…

Who Are You, Lord?

Lepicie, “Conversion of St. Paul” This post from a couple years ago is on my mind so I thought I’d repost. *** “Who are you, Lord?”  This was Paul’s question after Jesus struck him blind and stopped him in his tracks (Acts 9:1-5).  Paul was on his way to Damascus where he planned to continue…

No Answer

Lately, I’ve been thinking about a couple phrases: “God answered my prayer” or “God didn’t answer my prayer.” It’s common to hear both of these. I’ve said them and heard others say them countless times. Let me preface the rest of this post: I’m not given to semantic arguments. Communication is an (often clumsy) art….