From Eternity Past


An Angel Wrestles With Jacob

It was a lonely, mountainous region, the haunt of wild beasts, robbers, and murderers. Unprotected, Jacob bowed in deep distress upon the earth. It was midnight. All that made life dear to him were exposed to danger and death. Bitter was the thought that his own sin had brought this peril upon the innocent. EP 128.3

Suddenly a strong hand was laid upon him. He thought that an enemy was seeking his life. 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 battling for his life, his guilt pressed upon his soul; his sins rose up to shut him out from God. EP 128.4

But in his terrible extremity he remembered God's promises. The struggle continued until near break of day, when the stranger placed his finger on Jacob's thigh, and he was crippled instantly. The patriarch now knew that he had been in conflict with a heavenly messenger. This was why his almost superhuman effort had not gained the victory. It was Christ, “the angel of the covenant.” Jacob was now disabled and suffering the keenest pain, but he would not loosen his hold. Penitent and broken, he clung to the Angel; “he wept, and made supplication,” pleading for a blessing. He must have the assurance that his sin was pardoned. The Angel urged, “Let Me go, for the day breaketh”; but Jacob answered, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” His was the assurance of one who confesses his unworthiness yet trusts the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God. EP 128.5

Jacob “had power over the Angel, and prevailed.” Hosea 12:4. This sinful, erring mortal prevailed with the Majesty of heaven. He had fastened his trembling grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart of Infinite Love could not turn away the sinner's plea. EP 129.1