Wrestling with God – Genesis 32:22-31


In this episode, we talk about…

  • How Jacob wrestling with God can open the door to questions about sexuality, gender, and faith
  • A “hierarchy of control” that Shay learned from his conservative church (and how this passage challenges that)
  • Scripture gives us permission to question our faith!
  • the audacity of making demands of God
  • parallels between Jacob’s risks & wounds and the LGBTQ experience, a lesson Shay learned from Queer Virtue, which we’re about to start reading in the Sanctuary Collective book club
  • the “biblical definition of marriage”

Don’t forget! We need your help to keep this podcast — and all the rest of Queer Theology — running. You can learn more and give some support (even if you can’t contribute financially) over at queertheology.com/support

Read the transcript (PDF)

Genesis 32:22-31

Jacob got up during the night, took his two wives, his two women servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed the Jabbok River’s shallow water. He took them and everything that belonged to him, and he helped them cross the river. But Jacob stayed apart by himself, and a man wrestled with him until dawn broke. When the man saw that he couldn’t defeat Jacob, he grabbed Jacob’s thigh and tore a muscle in Jacob’s thigh as he wrestled with him. The man said, “Let me go because the dawn is breaking.”

But Jacob said, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.”

He said to Jacob, “What’s your name?” and he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name won’t be Jacob any longer, but Israel, because you struggled with God and with men and won.”

Jacob also asked and said, “Tell me your name.”

But he said, “Why do you ask for my name?” and he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel, “because I’ve seen God face-to-face, and my life has been saved.” The sun rose as Jacob passed Penuel, limping because of his thigh.

Photo by bratmandeux

This article was published by Brian Murphy