Why does God contend with man?
By Dean Honeycutt
When my boys were small, we would wrestle. The contest was easy because I was much bigger. It was a lot of fun. They would struggle with me and sometimes I would let them win. But the older and bigger they got the struggle became harder. I wrestled with my boys because they love to wrestle and test their strength. Just recently I wrestled with my youngest son, and he got the best of me.
In Genesis 32 Jacob wrestles with Jesus Christ during the night until the break of day. Of course, wrestling with God is no contest. During this wrestling match, the Lord dislocated Jacob’s hip to remind him of his contest with the Lord. The struggle with the Lord was for Jacob’s benefit, not the Lord’s. Jacob was allowed to prevail with the Lord and the Lord would bless Jacob and change his name to Israel. Israel would be God’s chosen people to be a blessing to the nations and to glorify the one true God.
We know that Israel failed miserably. Israel has struggled with God for many years. In Acts chapter 9 we see Paul traveling to Damascus where he is struck blind by Jesus and falls to the ground in fear. The Lord asks Paul why do you keep resisting me i.e… why do you keep struggling against me? Paul cannot resist the grace of God and he surrenders his life to God and becomes a great missionary and penning most of the New Testament.
Why does God contend with us? Why does God struggle with us? We know that God destroyed the world with a flood only sparing Noah and his family because the world was so wicked. It seems that God would get fed up with His creation and put an end to all life. I know the Bible teaches that one-day God will judge all people. The righteous will enjoy everlasting life while the unrighteous will suffer in the Lake of Fire.
But why is God so patient with us? Repeatedly we insult God and disobey God. We do things in America that are an Abomination against a Holy God. Yet God continues to contend with man. Why does God continue to struggle with us when we blatantly disregard Him?
The only Biblical explanation I can think of is God loves us despite our actions and inactions. Despite our moral failure and disregard for His creation and kindness. The Bible teaches us.
2 Peter 3:9 KJV “ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
I am grateful for the long-suffering of God. Something I realize in this struggle and contest with God is that God is not in a contest and God is not in a struggle with us. Just as I always won with my small boys, God always wins. So, it is not a contest. The struggle is on our part, not God’s.
God may allow me to struggle in this life and often life feels like a contest. However, these struggles always lead to a stronger faith and a deeper relationship with Christ. We are created in the image of God and marred by sin; however, God wants to restore His image through a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. My struggle is not with God as the Lord said in Job 40:2 “shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him?” My struggle is with myself overcoming my pride and selfishness. I want to be more like Jesus and to be more like Jesus the battle and struggle begin in my heart. My pride and self well must be defeated by the Grace and Mercy of a loving and patient Savior.
Pastor Dean Honeycutt shepherds Snow Hill Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. He may be reached at 828-385-0213, email@example.com, or visit their website at www.snowhillbaptist.com.
You can read more good Christian news from Dean HERE.