Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Genesis 32

What a plot! I already can’t wait to read the next chapter! Jacob heads toward his brother Esau’s territory, hoping that Esau has forgiven all the dirty deeds that he has done to him in the past. Jacob sends messengers ahead, but Esau saw Jacob coming from a mile away (ok, probably from several miles away. Imagine his guards peering over the territory from a watchtower on a high mountain. This is the first tip-off that Esau is doing alright for himself.).

“He’s already coming, and he’s got an army!” Jacob’s men reported. The fact that he has an army is another clue that Esau not only has wealth, but he has ruling power.

Jacob is scared out of his wits. He’s got a lot of stuff, but he has no army, or watchtower – or even a piece of land. And man, he’s sweating, because he really pulled some fast ones on his brother when they were younger. We don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s a real cliffhanger this one!

The chapter ends with Jacob wrestling with God. Huh? I have my own interpretation of this, but I’ve heard several. It’s a baffler! My take, though, is that Jacob knows he’s deserving of Esau meeting him with hostility. He asks God to please let Esau be forgiving, but God’s message in return was: he’s coming with an army of 400. Now, we don’t know what that means, and neither does Jacob. Are they coming to attack straight on, or did they just see a large camp of people on the horizon and decide to March out and see what’s happening? The suspense is maddening! It was for Jacob, too. He’d already prayed to God to bless him. Zilch. Or at least not the answer Jacob wanted. So, that night, instead of sleeping – or in a fitful sleep (you know those, right?) – he stubbornly tells God, “Look, you’ve told me I’m blessed, and I’m not leaving you alone until you prove it. Now, bless me!” Can you imagine Jacob’s agony just for a moment? It was heart-wrenching desperation coupled with sheer determination. It’s that moment when you’ve had enough torment, and through tears and emptiness, you look at God and say, “If you don’t do it now, I’m never going to believe anything you say again.” It’s that critical moment that will define separation or infinite worship.

And we don’t even know the answer yet! I can’t wait for tomorrow’s reading.

Writing prompt: cliffhanger

Have you ever had a moment of desperation with God? Write about the moment, but leave a cliffhanger (which you can finish after reading the next chapter).

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