Wrestling with God

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.
GENESIS 32 : 24
Wrestling with God
Our opinion is this, that the wrestler is the Lord of glory, God Himself, or God's Son, who was to become incarnate and who appeared and spoke to the fathers. For God in His boundless goodness dealt very familiarly with His chosen patriarch Jacob and disciplined him as though playing with him in a kindly manner. But this playing means infinite grief and the greatest anguish of heart. In reality, however, it is a game, as the outcome shows when Jacob comes to Peniel. Then it will be manifest that they were pure signs of most familiar love. So God plays with him to discipline and strengthen his faith just as a godly parent takes from his son an apple with which the boy was delighted, not that he should flee from his father or turn away from him but that he should rather be incited to embrace his father all the more and beseech him, saying: "My father, give back what you have taken away!" . . . These games are very common on the domestic scene, but in the affairs and contests of the saints they are very serious and difficult. For Jacob has no idea who it is who is wrestling with him; he does not know that it is God, because he later asks what His name is. But after he receives the blessing, he says: "I have seen the Lord face to face." Then new joy and life arises from the sad temptation and death itself.
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