Date: July 29, 2018 Jacob had tricked his father Isaac into giving him, the second born son, the birthright blessings that rightfully belonged to his older brother Esau. Esau is furious, and Jacob flees for his life. He settles down, marries, has children, tends his equally sneaky father-in-law’s sheep, all the time worrying about when this unresolved sibling feud will come to a head. Eventually, Jacob’s conflicts with his father-in-law get to be too much and so he leaves with his wives and his family and stolen sheep, to return to the land of his birth. He knows this means he will have to face his brother. This week we hear how Jacob alone, wrestles through the lonely hours of the night with a mysterious person who some have described as an angel, an agent of God, or maybe it was God directly, who grabbed ahold of Jacob and wouldn’t let him go. There are times when we wrestle through the night with problems that assail us, relationships that trouble us, situations we’re called on to influence through our own efforts, our own will, even if it hurts..
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