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Getting Through Challenges

This is part 1 of the four part series, Stranger Encounters: Examining Puzzling Aspects of Scripture .

Key Scripture Genesis 32:24-32.

This series.

  • Have you ever read a passage in the Bible and thought, "What on earth?"
  • For four weeks, this series will look at some of the more bizarre stories in the Bible.

Who is Jacob?

  • He wasn't the nicest person in the Bible.
  • He manipulated his brother into giving him his birthright.
  • He also tricked his father into blessing him instead of his brother, Esau.
  • After he was married, Jacob also deceived his father-in-law, Laban as well.
  • At the point of Genesis 32, Jacob learned that his brother, Esau, is headed to meet him.
  • Jacob divides his family and good into two parts, so that if Esau gets one group, not everything of Jacob's is lost.
  • In the story we read, Jacob wrestles with God.

Note: There are three things that happen to Jacob when he wrestled with God.

God breaks Jacob.

  • Jacob is wrestling with God and refuses to let go.
  • Jacob is at the breaking point of his life.
  • When you are at your breaking point, God will be there.

Jacob confesses his identity.

  • The man Jacob wrestled with asked him what his name was.
  • When you are truly broken, when you feel as though you can be brought no lower; it is in that moment that you might as well be honest.

Jacob is given a new name.

  • From that moment on, Jacob was no more.
  • His new name was Israel.
  • His life would forever be different after that point.


  • When he was in what appeared to be the hardest challenge of his life, he clung to God.
  • No matter what you are facing, always cling to God.