It was to save Jacob from deceptive hope that God confronted him that night on the bank of the river. To save him from self-trust it was necessary for God to conquer him, to wrest control away from him, to take His great power and rule with a rod of love. Charles Wesley, the sweet singer of England, with a spiritual penetration rare even among advanced Christians, wrote from the mouth of Jacob what he conceived to be his prayer as he wrestled with God at the ford of Jabbok:
My strength is gone, my nature dies;
I sink beneath Thy weighty hand;
Faint to revive, and fall to rise:
I fall, and yet by faith I stand.
I stand, and will not let Thee go,
Till I Thy Name, Thy Nature know.
Lame as I am, I take the prey;
Hell, earth, and sin, with ease o’ercome;
I leap for joy, pursue my way,
And as a bounding hart fly home,
Through all eternity to prove,
Thy Nature and Thy Name is love.
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. Genesis 32:24
To save Jacob from self-trust it was necessary for God to conquer him, to wrest control away from him, to take His great power and rule with a rod of love.
We have no strength, Lord, and we sink beneath Your weighty hand. Lift us up and work in us through our defeat.