Then, Jacob realized that he has wrestled with a heavenly being. (We might similarly see some of our struggles in life as an opportunity that God is giving us to demonstrate the character we have been developing.). It is only through God’s mercy that we can be forgiven, and his grace that sees us through to the other side of the night. And if something is labelled “Christ”, does it really contain Christ. He “and his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken” (JST Genesis 14:34). This great endowment came in accordance with the principle described in Ether 12:6: “For ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” As President Young might have said, after the wrestle comes the bursting of the veil. The situation was likely tense. In other words, Rebekah saw all her life’s work, all her planning and teaching about the importance of the Abrahamic covenant, all her care in guarding and guiding its perpetuation according to divine desires, as worthless and wasted if Jacob were to follow in Esau’s footsteps. He laid hold of the promise of God through a night of prayer. God was with him as had been promised. Second we discern that the bestowal upon Jacob of the rich gift, or endowment, of power followed a familiar pattern. Jacob had an interesting heritage. Finally, God directs Jacob to return to the land of his father. (This is analogous to the way that Jesus, to provide an example and model for us, “emptied himself” of his divine powers such as omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence in order to live a perfect human life through obedience to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. The text of the book, subtitled Creationism, Paleontology, and Biblical Interpretation, that I co-authored with Dr. Stephen J. Godfrey. The wrestling match left him lame, but Jacob had his blessing. This being was the pre-incarnate Christ, “the messenger of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1), acting as the Lord’s vessel for communication and manifestation. I do not think Jacob wrestled with god for the 20 years. 801-422-6975. what good shall my life do me?” (Genesis 27:46). In the end, Jacob does what we all must do. Here are a few answers in random order: There are many more answers. Jacob was next given an endowment of power, which would be recognized in the eyes of both God and men. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. At the end of the fight, there was a new name: Jacob became Israel (Genesis 32). And he [the messenger] blessed him there. Will his brother’s rage still burn after all of these years? In this story, we find Jacob fighting against God, refusing to yield. 26 The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.”, Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.”, 28 The man said, “But no longer. “The man asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Jacob,’ he answered. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. . B. H. Roberts, 2nd ed. Jacob Wrestled with … “Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed” (Genesis 32:7) and he decided to spend the night in prayer alone with God. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. Did Jacob wrestle with God or is that a metaphor? And he [Jacob] said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And, like some of us, he valued what was lost only after it was gone (see Genesis 27:38).  Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith, comp. Has the Holy Spirit ever taken on human form? 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions() 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. How old was Jesus at his presentation at the temple? The crisis of Jacob’s life at the River Jabbok pushed him to the brink of his understanding—it pushed him to the limits of his faith. That describes Jacob. We may stumble and forget who we are, but we can always come back to what God has called us to be. “A man wrestled with him until dawn broke.” The contest lasts for hours on end. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. The so-called “man” in this episode who wrestles with Jacob is just like the “angel of the LORD” who appears in other Old Testament passages, though he’s not specifically called that here. 2345 Charles Ave. Through it all, God reminds him time and again that He is with him and His promises hold true, even if Jacob can’t see how they are possible at the time. Rather than a physical defeat, we should see God’s touch as a symbolic representation of God winning over Jacob’s heart and soul. First, Jacob yearningly prayed to God for safety; second, he wrestled that night for a desperately needed blessing at the hand of Deity (see Genesis 32:9–13, 24–30). Why can't I feel God's presence in my life? When we take the lessons God has for us from the stories in his Word, we can grow, have more peace, and be the man or woman God has called us to be. ( Log Out / The word only appears here and in Hosea. But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. The sun rose above Jacob as he passed Peniel. He had a new ailment, but also a new identity, a new name, and a new intimacy with God. Christians believe in God. Why does a serpent represent what Jesus did on the cross? 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. Christians are hopeful and and feel like a future! Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. ), or they act in the place of God (19:10f. Did God cause or permit Absalom to have sexual relations with David’s concubines? It seems very unlikely that the being involved with Jacob was Jehovah Himself, because the Lord did not yet possess a physical body. NET Bible. More, You don’t find a pearl like that every day, Pastoral care (3): the positive surprises. With this blessing fresh on his mind, Jacob left Beer-sheba on what would prove to be a journey of many years. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. 19:12ff. Thus, the other, and likely, possibility regarding the identity of Jacob’s visitor is that it was God Himself. This often happens with us. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). And Isaac sent away Jacob” (Genesis 28:2–5). The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that these patriarchs “have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods” (D&C 132:37). Once we have wrestled with God, we should hold tightly to our new identity. © Copyright 2020 Bible Blender. Jacob’s life was spared. As evidence that he had been forgiven, the Lord changed his name from one that was a reminder of his sin, to one that commemorated his victory. At Bethel, Jacob had his first temple experience, according to President Romney. ), So what was God trying to demonstrate in this wrestling match by limiting himself to human powers? President Brigham Young said that all of us are situated “upon the same ground,” in that we must “struggle, wrestle, and strive, until the Lord bursts the veil and suffers us to behold His glory, or a portion of it.” And so it was with Jacob on that lonely night near the River Jabbok, when he began to wrestle with a divine visitor for a blessing—a blessing that would, in President Young’s words, “burst the veil” and shower down on him greater light and glory from God.