101-132 Genesis Part 3 Chapter 32
The angels of God met Jacob and encouraged him of God’s Devine protection. God often sends ministering spirits to comfort and encourage the heirs of salvation. (Psalms 91:11-12) It is probable that only Jacob saw the angels much like Elisha in 2 Kings 6:17. Jacob said this is God’s host, or army, as God is often called the Lord of Host. Jacob named the place Mahaniam, which signifies two armies. Most likely one for the host of angels and the other for Jacobs own household. Or more likely there were two hosts of angels. The Jewish writers say the host of God is 60,000 and the Devine Majesty never dwells among less. If the name signifies two hosts then that would have been 120,000 angels. In later times a city by the name of Mahaniam arose near this place and was probably named after this occurrence. (Joshua 21:38)
Jacob sent messengers to Esau who had become a prince in the land of Edom. The message was sent to inform Esau that Jacob was not insisting of his birthright. Yielding pacifies great offences. (Ecclesiastes 10:4) As pacemakers we must also be respectful even to those who are unjustly angry towards us. The messengers returned with the news of Esau’s warlike preparations.
In times of fear, as well as times of thankfulness, we should bow before God on our knees. Jacob had seen his guard of angels but he appealed to God. Jacob knew that angels were servants of the Lord just like he was. (Revelation 22:9) Jacob offered a great pattern for prayer. Approaching the Lord with a thankful heart for the undeserved blessing that God had given him. Expressing a humble confession of his unworthiness; a statement of his fears and distresses; and placing his hopes upon God. The best we can offer in prayer is to say unto God what He has said to us. Praying back God’s Word to Him is pleasing to the Lord. Jacob did not fall into despair nor did he presume upon God’s mercy without first employing his own means. God answers prayers by teaching us to order our affairs aright. Jacob sent ahead a present to his brother Esau. Reconciliation is always wise to use first with those who are angry with us. (Proverbs 18:16)
Long before the day break Jacob continued to lay his fears upon the Lord. When we find words scarce to fully state our concerns before God prayer is the best avenue to approach God. In this sense when we mean more than we can say, then we wrestle through our emotions in prayer. No matter how tired or discouraged we become, if we prevail in prayer we shall prevail against our enemies as well. Wrestling even in prayer requires much vigor and perseverance. Even as the night passed Jacob did not waver and though the struggle lasted long Jacob kept his faith and did not silence his prayer. Jacob would have his blessing and would rather have a joint dislodged than to leave without being blessed. Fervent prayer is effectual in receiving a blessing from Christ. (Exodus 32:11-13 Isaiah 62:6-7 James 5:15-16) Jacob is forever honored by the angel changing his name to Israel, a prince with God. Having God’s favor Jacob also gains favor with men also. Jacob shall prevail and gain the favor of his brother Esau.
Jacob gives a new name to the place and calls it Penuel, the face of God, because there Jacob had seen the appearance of God and found His favor. In later time there was a city built there by that name, Penuel. (Judges 8:8)The Angel who wrestled with Jacob was the second person in the Trinity Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ who would be God manifested in the flesh. God dwelling in the flesh taking on the human nature was called Immanuel. (Hosea 12:4-5)