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it seems, laid himself down to sleep, that he might get a little rest, before he set out on his journey. The thoughts of his brother and his four hundred mea kept him awake, and rising up he took his wives and children, and passed over the ford Jabbok, and when they were all safely over, Jacob being the last, he appears to have staid behind, that he might again make known his cares and his fears to God, and here it was that Jacob wrestled with an Angel, and prevailed. “And Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 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. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel,* for as a prince hast thou power with God, and with men, and hast prevailed. And Ja
*That is, A PRINCE OF GOD.
cob asked him, and said, tell me I pray thee,
thy name. And he said.
that thou dost ask after my
blessed him there.
Wherefore is it
name? And he
And Jacob called the
name of the place Peniel: for I have seen 'God face to face, and my life is preserved."
This is the account which the Scriptures give us of this wonderful event. This was
not a vision but a real transaction. Jacob actually wrestled with an Angel in the form of a Man. Wrestling requires great strength, activity, attention, and exertion. It was an Angel, and not a man; because Jacob said, I have seen God face to face and my life was preserved. The same Angel, the san e Lord that appeared to him at Beth-el and at Padanaram. None but an Angel possessed of divine power could put Jacob's thigh out of joint, in such a manner as to wound and heal at
the same time; for we do
not read that Jacob
felt any pain while he was wrestling with the Angel, he did not even halt till the struggle was over. He desired that Jacob would let him go. No, said Jacob, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. It is said that Jacob wept,
wept, and made supplication to the Angel, that for which he strove was a blessing, and this he obtained, for the Angel not only blessed him there, but changed his name or rather added another name to that which he already had. He was called Israel, a prince that had power with God and with man. Having obtained a blessing from God, this was a pledge that he should also obtain his brother's favor. This shows that the fervent and effectual prayer of a righteous man shall prevail and be successful at last, though delays, discouragement and opposition may prevail on every side for a time.
V. CATECHETICAL QUESTIONS.
1. What were the words of the Text? Jacob went on his way and the Angels of God met him.
2. When Jacob saw the Angel what did he say? This is God's host.
3. What was the message he sent to his brother? Thy servant Jacob saith thus: I have sojourned with Laban and stayed there untill now: and I have oxen and asses,
flocks and men servants, and women servants and have sent to tell my Lord that I may find grace in thy sight.
returned to JaThat Esau was
4. When the messengers cob what did they tell him? coming with four hundred men.
5. What did Jacob do when he heard this? He divided his company into two bands, and offered up a prayer to God. (Read his prayer.)
6. After he had prayed to God what did he do? Sent a present of 580 head of cattle and desired the servants of each drove to say he was coming behind.
7. After putting his wives and children over the river, what happened to Jacob when he was left alone? He wrestled with an Angel and prevailed.
8. What did he wrestle for? A blessing. 9. What did the Angel do to Jacob? He touched the hollow of his thigh and put it out of joint.
10. Did not the Angel give Jacob a new name? Yes, he called his name Israel, for as prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
VII. PRACTICAL ADDRESS.
Those that walk in the way that God commands them, shall be preserved from all danger in that way. Wherever Jacob pitched his tents, the Angels of the Lord encamped round about him. Because he feared the Lord, therefore he had no reason to be afraid of Man. Neither Laban nor Esau could hurt Jacob without God's permission. Jacob did not forget the respect that was due to Esau as his elder brother, his of fended brother, but he desires that he would forget what is past and forgive his offence, receive him with the love and affection of a brother, who was sorry for his fault and had seen the evil of it. Angry people have generally very good memories; they remember all that has been done against them and take notice of every injury they have received. My dear children, try to forbear, forget and forgive. Always endeavour to make up a quar rel, the sooner it is ended the better, and if you can pacify your angry schoolfellows or brothers and sisters, by giving them a present, do it by all means. It is much better to live