Jacob's Children: 6 Naphtali
Wrestling Until The Breaking of Day
And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, “With great wrestlings [wrestlings of God] I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali [My wrestling].
[Genesis 30:7-8 NKJV]
This must have been very difficult for Rachel - in that the child was not hers. It would have seemed an answer to prayer in that she now had a second child to raise with Jacob, yet the child was born through the coming together of Jacob and Bilhah. She realised that The Lord had granted her desire, but yet there was still a struggle within her.
The tradition at the time was that a wife [or a barren woman] could become the mother of a family through a child or children born to a concubine, but tradition does not bring peace; tradition is not God. Rachel's name suggests that she is on a spiritual journey and on that journey she has had a lot of difficulty and heartache to contend with; so it comes as no surprise to find that she is wrestling at this point. She is wrestling with what is happening to her and around her; with Leah, with Jacob, with Bilhah; but also with God. Just as Jacob wrestled with 'a Man', in Genesis 32:24, Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. [NKJV]
We too, have many highs and lows, both in our natural and spiritual lives; and this wrestling often appears after the high point of first getting to know The Lord. Doubts set in and our faith begins to waver. God promised so much, but what now? We have been on the mountain top but now we are in the valley, and we are wrestling with it.
Take heart from Rachel's story, for this struggle, this wrestling is all part of our spiritual journey, and - from personal experience - often comes soon after a great blessing from Him. What we have to recognise is that the journey is not yet over and that, as here for Rachel, the full blessing from God is yet to come. He is the one who knows the end from the beginning ... and that all He does has a purpose yet to be revealed. We need to wait patiently at such times until the breaking of day.
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Thursday 14th May 2020
Everything the devil does, God over-reaches to serve His own purpose.
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART