August 8

Episode 1345: Wrestling with Our Hunger

Inspired Stewardship Podcast, Spiritual Foundations


Join us today for an episode about the reason we wrestle with our hunger with God...

Today's episode is focused on Genesis 32:22-31 and Matthew 14:13-21...

In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about both Genesis 32:22-31 and Matthew 14:13-21.  I share how we often wrestle with ourselves and God but it’s to drive us to action.  I also share how the question “what will it cost?” is the wrong question instead we should ask “what is the need?”

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1345 Wrestling with Our Hunger

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1345 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:08] Deborah Heiser: I'm Debra Heiser. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others. Develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to mentor and be mentored is key.

[00:00:24] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this. The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer. There

[00:00:41] Scott Maderer: is a blessing here. Let me serve that need. Let me pay the cost. Let me break the bread and serve the food. And you do the work you love on each other. You serve those here who are hungry, [00:01:00] and that's when the blessing shows up. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent.

[00:01:16] And your treasures for your True calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:36] In today's spiritual foundation episode, I talk about both Genesis chapter 32 verses 22 through 31, and Matthew chapter 14, verses 13 through 21. I share how we often wrestle with ourselves and God, but the reason is to drive us to action. I also share how the question, what will it cost, is the wrong question.

[00:01:57] And instead, we should be [00:02:00] asking, what is the need? Genesis chapter 32, verses 22 through 31 goes, The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and set them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

[00:02:22] When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, Let me go, for the day is breaking. But Jacob said, I will not let you go unless you bless me. So he said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob.

[00:02:40] Then the man said, You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans and have prevailed. Then Jacob asked him, Please tell me your name. But he said, Why is it that you ask my name? And there he blessed him. Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, For I have seen God [00:03:00] face to face, and yet my life is preserved.

[00:03:02] The sun rose upon him as he passed Peniel, limping because of his hip. And Matthew chapter 14 verses 13 through 21 says, Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. And when he went ashore, he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.

[00:03:26] When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late. Send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves. And Jesus said to them, they need not go away, you gave them something to eat. But they replied, we have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.

[00:03:45] And he said, bring them here to me. Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, taking the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up to heaven, and he blessed and broke the loaves. And he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. [00:04:00] And all ate and were filled and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, 12 baskets full.

[00:04:06] And those who ate were about 5, 000 men besides women and children. Both of these stories, if you've been around church for a while, if you've been a Christian for a while, these are probably somewhat familiar stories for us. But in that first story of Jacob, I want to back up a little bit and I want to Talk a little bit about what got us to this moment.

[00:04:32] Why is Jacob on this lonely riverbank in a wrestling match with a man or with God or whatever it is? And we'll talk a little bit about that in a minute. If you go back in Genesis, you'll see the beginning of the story. Jacob ran away from home. He urged by his mother and encouraged by his father because he had stolen the blessing that was rightly due to his brother, the firstborn, Esau.

[00:04:58] And let's say Esau [00:05:00] didn't take it well. So Jacob left town. He headed off to some cousins in another town down the road, and he's been hanging out with them. And Jacob did well there, and he's heading back now with wives, and with concubines, and with children, and livestock, and servants, and wealth. He's done well, at least by the ways of the world.

[00:05:26] And Jacob hopes that maybe since the last time he saw his brother, which was in the rear view mirror as he was running out of town, and his brother was probably shaking a big stick at him, he's come back and said maybe I can come back and show that I'm a bigger man. I've done well. And that must mean that God is blessing me.

[00:05:48] And if God is blessing me, Jacob then surely my brother Esau could bless me and forgive me as well. And that kind of brings us up to this point. And that passage begins [00:06:00] that same night. It was the same day because, see, he'd actually sent a gift ahead to Esau. He'd sent a bribe ahead. He sent money and wealth and other things ahead, hoping that Esau would forgive him.

[00:06:16] So he sends this gift or bribe, and then he goes a step further. He sends his wives ahead, and he sends his children on ahead, and he stays behind. And I would argue he sends his wife and children ahead because in a way, he could sacrifice them, and if Esau does something horrible to them, he can still run away, hightail it away, and maybe recover again.

[00:06:41] He could go hide out. Or maybe if you want to be more generous, maybe he sent them ahead and now he's going to sit there and think about his fate and what happened. Whatever it is, that same day, that same night, it says a man wrestled with him all night [00:07:00] long. The man never says his name, he never says who he is.

[00:07:05] It doesn't say it clearly. There's some words that the man says at the end, he says, To Jacob, he says, when he renames him, he says, you have striven with God. And so we often believe that means that this was God that Jacob was wrestling with. And other people believe that this was an angel that Jacob is wrestling with.

[00:07:28] But the story also says a man. And the naming says you have striven with God and humans and have prevailed. Maybe it wasn't God after all. Maybe this was a representative, or maybe it was even someone Jacob knew. Maybe even it was his himself. Maybe even it was his brother, Esau. Whatever it is, and I don't mean to argue with how it's been interpreted over the years, but the point is, no matter what is true in this story, [00:08:00] at the end of the story, Jacob gets blessed.

[00:08:06] and steps forward a little bit. I think a lot of times we're given moments of blessing and they're bought out of a cost. There's a cost involved with them. I don't mean bought in a transactional way. I'm not saying we give this and therefore God gives us that it's not a if then I'm saying that there's effort involved.

[00:08:32] There's things that we have to do their service. There's helping others. And sometimes that's what will bless us. If we keep up with it, if we keep going, if we keep working through the pain, if we refuse to let go. There's joy and peace at the end of that effort sometimes. Now if you go ahead to the other story of the [00:09:00] feeding of the 5, 000, at least that's what we call it.

[00:09:02] And I've always thought that's a weird name because at the end of the text, it says 5, 000 men beside women and children. So it's more than 5, 000. Maybe we couldn't count the total, but it could be. 10, 15, 20, 000 people. We don't know. They just acknowledge that there were others there. There doesn't appear at first to be any wrestling, but there is.

[00:09:27] There's wrestling between Jesus and the disciples, but there's also wrestling between our prejudices, our presuppositions. The wrestling of the disciples with responsibility. Send these people away so they can take care of their own hunger. It does seem like a proper response in many ways, right? These people can go take care of themselves.

[00:09:53] Give them space to deal with their own needs, honor their freedom and their choice. But [00:10:00] Jesus says, no, don't let go of these here that are hungry until they've shown us the blessing. Don't Maybe the hungry ones are saying we're not going to let go of the disciples until they are blessed. Maybe it's both of these.

[00:10:19] The blessing is shared out of that attempt to hold on and not let go. And you even see in the disciples question, what will this cost us? We don't have enough. We can't possibly meet this need. And then Jesus says, wait a minute. Wait a minute. There is a blessing here. Let me serve that need. Let me pay the cost.

[00:10:45] Let me break the bread and serve the food. And you do the work. You love on each other. You serve those here who are hungry. And that's when the blessing shows up. [00:11:00] Thanks for listening.

[00:11:07] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor, go over to inspired stewardship.

[00:11:31] com slash iTunes rate, all one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence, and impact the world.[00:12:00]

In today's episode, I talk with you about:

  • Genesis 32:22-31 and Matthew 14:13-21. 
  • How we often wrestle with ourselves and God but it’s to drive us to action...
  • How the question “what will it cost?” is the wrong question instead we should ask “what is the need?”...
  • and more.....

Then he said, "Let me go, for the day is breaking." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go, unless you bless me." – Genesis 32: 26

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About the author 


Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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