One of the many reasons that I believe the Bible is true is because it isn’t afraid to display all the ugly warts of the family tree. Think about it. If you were making up a story about how your family was the “chosen one” that God loved more than anyone else in the world, you would probably write the story in such a way that all the main characters look really good.
That’s not at all how the Bible goes. Today’s reading in Genesis 25:19-28 introduces us to the man after whom the nation of Israel will be named. Israel was not his original name. When Israel was born he was a twin. His older brother was named Esau. Israel was born second and came out holding on to his brother’s heel. They named him Jacob.
Do you know what Jacob means? Cheater. Yeah. How would you like to grow up with that label. “Hey, Cheater, why can’t you be more like your brother!?!”
You can see where this story goes. Jacob and Esau grew up hating each other until, ultimately, Jacob cheated Esau out of his birthright.
Later on, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Do you know what that name means? Wrestles with God. Yep. I’d say Israel had some control issues.
My point is this. The father of the nation of Israel was not a perfect man. He was a messed up guy like you and me. Let’s take comfort in the fact that God is in the business of working with cheaters and broken people and transforming them into something special. That often takes a lot of wrestling for some of us.
Remember one thing today. God loves you, warts and all. Don’t wrestle too long.