Jacob at Peniel

Genesis 32  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 4
We could not doubt for a moment that Jacob at Peniel learned a deep lesson when God broke him down as he was planning, and had left God out of his calculations. God came in to show He would not be left out. His love and purposes of blessing won’t allow Him to let us leave Him out in the workings of our own hearts. Broken down that night, he says, “I have seen God face to face.” He really learned the lesson, but he was not then able to put it into practice. It was a partial thing too; for while he got a new name himself, when he asks the Lord for His name He will not give it. He did give it to Abraham and Isaac. He made Himself known to them as God Almighty. Jacob does not learn His name then, but “He blessed him there.” At once he goes and settles down at Shalem, and so far from going on with the God he had met, he does not at that moment profit by the lesson he had really learned. He did not take it up in the practical experience of his soul until God disturbed the scene around him. He upsets Jacob thoroughly, and when he is broken down in his circumstances he does go to Bethel, and their God appears to him and reveals His name. It is only there he gets hold of it, and immediately all he has got by his planning begins to go. Deborah dies; Rachel dies; Joseph is taken down into Egypt; the famine comes over the land; and you see him at the end worshipping God. All he had (all of Jacob) was gone, and he takes the place of Israel (Genesis 48); and his own heart is just filled with the thoughts of God. God’s thoughts are filling his soul.
T. H. K.