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Daily Reading: 14th July 2016

Matthew 4.13 -15 cont.

13 And leaving Nazareth He went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the district of Zebulon and Naphtali.

14 So that what was spoken about through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying:

15 Land of Zebulon and land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, Galilee of the nations, beyond the Jordan.

A sport that has always seemed quite strange to me is that of wrestling. It was made popular by television coverage. There are vast numbers of people, men, women, and children who like to watch wrestling and get quite involved in it.

The objective of wrestling is for two opponents to struggle with each other in a fight without blows. They struggle to force their opponent to the ground and to pin them down on a mat.

The name Naphtali means to wrestle, and, as we have seen it was the name that Rachel gave to the child born to her servant Bilhah:

[7] Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son.

[8] Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have had an intense struggle with my sister, and I am winning!” – Genesis 30.7-8 (NLT).

As we have seen, Rachel’s sister was Leah, who had more children with Jacob than Rachel did.

There was a struggle between the two of them for the affections of Jacob. Rachel obviously felt this quite intensely. Hence she gave the child the name Naphtali.

During our lifetime we will face many struggles, many times when we have to wrestle with circumstances. We will encounter other people who will seek to wrestle against us in order to subdue us.

In the Uk, at the time of writing, there is a contentious debate within the nation concerning whether or not the country should remain as part of the European Union, or whether to leave. Each side is wrestling with the other to win the debate and subdue the opposition.

On an individual level we will have to wrestle against sin and seek to overcome it. Sin and satan seek to get us down and pin us to the mat of destruction and hostility towards God. His word tells us:

the struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, the world rulers of darkness and against the evil spiritual hordes in the heavenly realms – Ephesians 6.12.

The good news for us who believe is that Jesus tells us that He has overcome the world and that the prince of this world (satan) has already been judged.

 

 

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