And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. Genesis 32:26.
Jacob, in the great crisis of his life, turned aside to pray. He was filled with one overmastering purpose—to seek for transformation of character.
It was in a lonely, mountainous region, the haunt of wild beasts and lurking place of robbers and murderers. Solitary and unprotected, Jacob bowed in deep distress upon the earth…. With earnest cries and tears he made his prayer before God. Suddenly a strong hand was laid upon him. He thought that an enemy was seeking his life, and he endeavored to wrest himself from the grasp of his assailant.
In the darkness the two struggled for the mastery. Not a word was spoken, but Jacob put forth all his strength, and did not relax his efforts for a moment. While he was thus battling for his life, the sense of his guilt pressed upon his soul; his sins rose up before him, to shut him out from God. But in his terrible extremity he remembered God’s promises, and his whole heart went out in entreaty for His mercy. The struggle continued until near the break of day, when the stranger placed his finger upon Jacob’s thigh, and he was crippled instantly. The patriarch now discerned the character of his antagonist. He knew that he had been in conflict with a heavenly messenger, and this was why his almost superhuman effort had not gained the victory. It was Christ, “the Angel of the covenant,” who had revealed Himself to Jacob. The patriarch was now disabled and suffering the keenest pain, but he would not loosen his hold….
He urged, “Let me go, for the day breaketh;” but Jacob answered, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Had this been a boastful, presumptuous confidence, Jacob would have been instantly destroyed; but his was the assurance of one who confesses his own unworthiness, yet trusts the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God.
That for which Jacob had vainly wrestled in his own strength was won through self-surrender and steadfast faith.
Conflict and Courage p. 67
—–update—Kris is doing much better and there is nothing new to report. The police department I work for gave me an ultimatum to be back to work in forty days or be let go. With two broken legs I will be unable to do so. (I probably would have been able to in ninety days.) I am two years from retirement with the force and have won many awards as a police officer, so this has come as quite a shock. Thank you for all of your prayers over these last few months. Please continue to keep us in prayer. Jack
Until I was 10, I was raised by my grandparents, Edwin and Ida Harmon.
My grandfather had his own special room where he could relax and keep his
stuff. He had a big overstuffed chair that was very comfortable and in
the evening he would relax in that chair and read his magazines, when I
was outside playing, that is.
Those magazines were not “children rated.” But while he was at work and
my grandmother was in the kitchen (where she spent most of her time), I
would look at grandpa’s magazine. Many of them were about hunting and
fishing, but he also had a Time-Life book about World War II. That book
had very graphic pictures from the war. They fringhtened me and
fascinated me at the same time. I spent time looking carefully at each
picture. Just the thought of some of them makes me shudder.
How cruel war is. How cruel is the heart of mankind without the Spirit
of God dwelling there. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the
fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, how little they
realized the results of their disobedience. It was such a little test.
It was such a small act of disobedience, but it was a pivotal moment in
their experience. From that small act, came a great change.
Before the fall, Adam and Eve had good fellowship with their Creator. At
the time for evening worship, He came to this small planet in His great
universe and conversed with them. But after their disobedience, hearing
Him walking in the garden brought a new feeling to their heart. It was a
feeling of fear and dread. God’s Word tells us, “And they heard the
voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and
Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God
amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and
said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the
garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he
said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree,
whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” Gen 3:8-11
God knew what had happened, but He wanted them to acknowledge their
transgression. Instead, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent, and
, ultimatly they were blaming God. “And the man said, The woman whom thou
gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the
LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the
woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God
said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above
all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou
go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” vs 12-14
How good and kind our Loving Father is! Before He told His erring
children of the consequences of their sin, He gave them the promise of a
Saviour! “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between
thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise
his heel.” vs 3:15
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy
conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire
shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he
said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast
eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat
of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it
all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth
to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy
face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of
it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
From that point, death began. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the
LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said,
Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now,
lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat,
and live for ever” 21,22
From that one little sin, the close communion they had had with God
became a more distant one. “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from
the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he
drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden
Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of
the tree of life.” From that moment the world began to deteriorate and
mankind became “worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” 2 Tim
But God does not leave us in such a pitiful state. He has provided a
Way. Jesus is the “way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 Let us
thank Him for sacrificing His own life, so that we may have a restored
relationship with our Creator. Let us serve Him from a heart full of
gratitude and love. Let us place our hand in His and let Him lead us to
His Heavenly Kingdom is my prayer.