genesis 32:22-32 and theological interpretation

Jacob wrestled all night for a blessing. Any preachers or teachers of Scripture lack that experience? As powerful as the Word/Story of God is, who are we to camp on the banks of the river of truth, having sent everyone else ahead so that we have some privacy, when we encounter the bracing narrative that races through 66 books?

If we were only looking to Scripture as an historical source, as a collection of wisdom parables, or as a book of religious myths, that would be one thing. But this large and diverse collection of books finds itself embraced by the overarching plot of the Story of God. We look to Scripture in order to know God, specifically, the God whom the story begun in Genesis tells of. This is a theological task, not a philosophical, historical, or anthropological one. To embrace this collection of books called the Bible as Scripture means to accept that in reading its pages, we hear the person and work of God revealed to us in all his Glory and Mystery.

In this spirit, we interpret this Word, this Story (or Narrative), not solely through the best exegetical tools available nor through the creativity and insightfulness of our own minds. Instead, we wrestle with this book, both text by text and with the narrative arch as a whole, insisting on being blessed by it. And we find that we are blessed indeed, limp and all.

Published by Guy M Williams

Christian | Husband, Father | Pastor | 8th-Gen Texan | Texas A&M ‘96 | Asbury Seminary ‘01 | Enjoy family, reading, running, golf, college football

2 thoughts on “genesis 32:22-32 and theological interpretation

  1. Great insights! What a statement for each of us when we merely want to experience God outwardly but will not take the time to wrestle with Scripture.

  2. Like the post, Guy!

    I think that anyone who has looked to Scripture for their faith has experienced this wrestling match.

    And I have to say, I am often glad to limp away. Gives me a reminder of what really matters and helps keep me on the right path, instead of always looking for short-cuts.

    God Bless,

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