1. Have you ever figuratively and/or spiritually wrestled with God? If yes, why? How did it go?
2. Read Genesis 32:24-31. What are your initial thoughts about this wild story? Do you think it was more of a dream? Or more of a literal event? Why?
3. Jacob had a shady past. In fact, in this Scripture his past is catching up to him as he is about to face his brother Esau. Why is our “wrestling with God” so often tied to the mistakes (intentional or unintentional) of our past? What often happens when we wrestle with God as we deal with our past coming to the forefront of our present?
4. Jacob’s name is changed to “Israel.” This eventually became the name of an entire people. Israel can literally mean, “one who wrestles with God”, or “one who has striven with God,” and other similar translations. Does this understanding change how you understand faith and your relationship with God?
5. Why do you think the name change is so important to Jacob’s and God’s redemption stories?
Bringing this story and its impact on our lives forward to Jesus, in what ways does Jesus give us a new identity? When we “wrestle” or “strive” with Jesus, in what ways are we changed like Jacob? How is this wrestling somewhat frightening? How is it uplifting?