Mahanaim, or Hosts of Angels
Charles H. Spurgeon
Genesis 32:1-22; Samuel 17:27-29
Let us go even unto Mahanaim and see these great sights. First, let us go with Jacob and see the two camps of angels, and then with David to observe his troops of friends.
God's Invisible Agents
Jacob shall have our first consideration.
What a varied experience is that of God's people! Their pilgrimage is over a shifting sand; their tent is ever moving, and the scene around them ever changing. Here is Jacob at one time contending for a livelihood with Laban, playing trick against trick in order to match his father-in-law; then he prospers and determines to abide no more in such servitude; he flies, is pursued, debates with his angry relative, and ends the contention with a truce and a sacrifice. This unseemly family warfare must have been a very unhappy thing for Jacob, by no means tending to raise the tone of his thoughts or sweeten his temper or ennoble his spirit. What a change happened to him when the next day, after Laban had gone, Jacob found himself in the presence of angels. Here is a picture of a very different kind: the churl has gone and the cherubs have come; the greedy taskmaster has turned his back, and the happy messengers of the blessed God have come to welcome the patriarch on his return from exile. It is hard to realize to the full the complete transformation.
Such changes occur in all lives; but, I think, most of all in the lives of believers. Few passages across the ocean of life are quite free from storm, but the redeemed of the Lord may reckon upon being tossed with tempest even if others escape. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous." Yet trials last not forever; clear shining comes after rain. Change works ever. We pass from storm to calm, from breeze to hurricane; we coast the shores of peace, and anon we are driven upon the sand banks of fear. Nor need we be surprised: for were there not great changes in the life of our Lord and Master? ...
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