Isaiah 41:14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy one of Israel.
The word translated worm here is from the Hebrew word tola (towel) a voracious maggot, the crimson grub, used only in connection with color that comes from its shell used in dye-crimson in color. This worm must die for the dye to be extracted for use.
Not a very complimentary comment on Jacob: a voracious grub or maggot. But, on further investigation we see this is the very worm used to dye the hangings in the Tabernacle/Temple and the vestments of the Priests. Crimson signifies the blood sacrifice required for sin. Jacob the patriarch of the Jewish nation, direct line to Christ the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Here the LORD God of Israel is reminding all of Israel-the ones who wrestle-that He will not only help His people, but a Redeemer will come and like this maggot give His all for His offspring. This Redeemer is “the Holy ONE of Israel” the Messiah.
I, like Jacob, wrestle. Today, as I write this, my granddaughter wrestles. She has been sick for weeks, praying for relief from unexplained and unrelieved pain. No answers. No relief. As I kissed her goodbye tonight, I reminded her to pray. Her anguished reply: “God could SNAP His finger and I would be well but He hasn’t done it and I don’t know why (crocodile tears flowing down her beautiful chalky white, thinning face)! I do not understand either. I too have prayed relentlessly. Fear chokes. I cannot breathe. Tears blind me. Desperation creeps up and surrounds us.
For the nation of Israel, the long awaited Redeemer would not come for another 400 years, but come He did. Is it enough for me to know He keeps His word? If not, then I DOUBT and according to James’ epistle, my prayers cannot be answered because it is FAITH that moves the hand of God. (James 1:6 “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”)
Yes, I wrestle hard! But like Jacob, I will not let go until the Lord blesses me. (Genesis 32:24-30)
P.S. As I put the finishing touches on this post, months later, my pastor spoke on this very scripture about the wrestling. He pointed out that “this wrestling with God is one match I need to lose.” For it is in the loss that I give it ALL to the ONE who alone can change my circumstances, what I fight to control.. We did have our prayers answered! My little equestrian is now pain free. It was not instant. It required a second major surgery in three years. It required much more prayer. It required us to trust God for answers and to place her in the hands of a surgeon, doctors, nurses, and T-I-M-E…….the healing was not instantaneous.
Do you wrestle with God because your prayers appear to go unanswered? Is there something He is asking you to relinquish to Him? Something you are finding it difficult to trust Him to supply? Here’s the thing: When it is down to you and God, it is here that you find He is ENOUGH! Fear not the wrestling. It is for our good, His glory!
Learning to not fight the current,
Links for extra reading and understanding:
Be SURE TO CHECK OUT THIS LINK that Freda brought to my attention about the tola and what is taking place in Israel RIGHT NOW! It is exciting!
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
Psalm 22:1-10 The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of God’s withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God, pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual desertions are the saints’ sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry out, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, Why hast thou forsaken me? is the language of a heart binding up its happiness in God’s favour. This must be applied to Christ. In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soul before God when he was upon the cross, Mt 27:46. Being truly man, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through such great sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declared the holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpest sufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which he would be continually praised by his Israel, more than for all other deliverances they received. Never any that hoped in thee, were made ashamed of their hope; never any that sought thee, sought thee in vain. Here is a complaint of the contempt and reproach of men. The Saviour here spoke of the abject state to which he was reduced. The history of Christ’s sufferings, and of his birth, explains this prophecy.