It has been twenty years since Jacob made his covenant at Bethel with the God of all grace, “ When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.” (Ecc.5:4)
Has God been faithful to His promise? Let Jacob testify, “With my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become two bands” (v.10). (3.)
The blessing of God is not a passing emotion, but the abiding favour of His presence and power, therefore something that cannot fail (Gen. 28:15) “ behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee,” (Gen.28:15).
We See Jacob Fearing in (v.7) “He was greatly afraid and distressed And he sent them over the brook, and Jacob was left alone”.
He feared his brother, and tarried behind alone. The fear of man bringeth a snare, but by the infinite mercy of God Jacob fell into the arms of almighty grace and love.
He was alone; now was God’s opportunity to get into close contact with him.
Lone souls are fit subjects for the fellowship of Heaven.
Come ye yourselves apart that the Lord may have a better chance of dealing with the innermost thoughts of our heart.
We see Jacob resisting the Lord in (v.24), “There wrestled a man with him.” When Jacob was alone the Divine Overcomer draws near.
All at once Jacob finds himself struggling against Him.
This is so natural. In the pride of our heart our self-will refuses to bow submissively at the first manifestation of the divine will, when that will is to deliver us by yielding rather than by self-effort and carnal wisdom, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” (I.Cor.1:27).
The Jacob nature always strives to supplant the will of God by its own. Let us thank God that He allowed Jacob to wrestle with him till the day break.
He knows that our only hope of success, as His servants, lies in our entire submission to Him, ”Submit yourselves therefore to God. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (Ja.4:7,8).
Let us look at Jacob as a Crippled man in (v,25) “When He saw that He prevailed not, He touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint.”
The heavenly One wishes to prevail over our whole character and life that all may be filled with His power and blessing, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Lk.9:23).
The source of our strength must be touched, and broken, and withered, that His strength might be perfected in our weakness ,“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (I.Cor.12:8).
Peter’s wisdom was a wrestling against his Lord (Mk 8: 32). Hath not the potter power over the clay ? Submit yourselves to God, “And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. when turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” (Mk.8:32);
We See Jacob Clinging to the angel in (v.26) “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me. ” Now that his strength is broken the resister becomes the clinger.
This is the true attitude of blessing, clinging to the Overcomer, “A broken and a contrite heart, 0 God, Thou wilt not despise.”
This submissive and helpless cry of entire dependence is always sure to bring forth such an answer as will for ever change our character and revolutionise our whole life.
Clinging to the pleading Christ is the all-conquering attitude of a conquering soul,
Jacob became a Changed man, “ Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince hast thou prevailed.” The new name indicates the new nature; the new nature came not by struggling, but by yielding, “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, BOTHER SAUL, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” (Ac.9:17).
The measure of our submission to Christ will be the measure of our victory for Him, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev.20:15).
Let us covet earnestly the best gifts. The way to prevail with men is to prevail with God; the way to prevail with God is to cling to Him with a stubborn trust, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (I.Cor.13:13).
Let us note Jacob Testifying about his experience with the Lord “I have seen God face to face. ” This is a great testimony. “I have seen God.” No man can remain the same as before after he has seen God.
The glory of such a vision is sure to blind the eyes to the sinful pleasures of the world by transforming the inner life, “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Heb.11:27).
To see Jesus is to see God, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (Jh.14:9), “This is the true God” (1. Jh. 5: 20).
Have you got into such close touch with Jesus Christ, that you can truthfully say, “ I have seen God ? ” It was Thomas in (Jh. 20: 28) who said, “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”