6 Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
This passage in Isaiah provides the backdrop for one of the craziest events in all of scripture. Underneath this army of stars a man named Jacob wrestles with God. Jacob is face to face with the creator of the universe and instead of this encounter being a time of worship or fellowship, it’s a wrestling match. One verse stands out in Genesis 32: 28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” he said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.” You may need to read that again…go ahead…I’ll wait.
Under the stars that God names…Jacob receives a new name. Why? Because Jacob struggled with God and with men and prevailed. I do not pretend to understand all the implications of this verse but I do take away a few things. First, let’s be clear…with God dislocating Jacob’s hip we understand the wrestling match could have been over in seconds. Also, if God were to reveal all His glory, the match would have never taken place. However, God in His wisdom allowed this fight to take place and Jacob prevailed.
I think too many people give up on God. I think that’s what we can take away from this amazing event. Jesus told a crowd of people in John Chapter 6 that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. John records that many stopped following Him. Jesus didn’t offer any explanation to what He said. This wasn’t a “seeker-sensitive” church service. Jesus wasn’t interested in numbers…He was interested in followers. Jesus then turned to the 12 disciples and asked if they were going to leave as well. Peter said: “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” I don’t think Peter understood everything Jesus said but he knew Jesus was “the Holy One of God”.
I don’t have a complete understanding of God and His ways but there’s nowhere else to go. Sometimes the ways of God are perplexing and the commandments are difficult but instead of giving up or “checking out” let’s go to God and wrestle. Let’s scrap it out until we are left broken and changed. A new name awaits those who endure under an Army of Stars.