by Clarence E. Macartney

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Great Nights of the Bible (13 of 16)
The Night a Man Fought an Angel
Clarence E. Macartney
Gen. 32:24

This, undoubtedly, is one of the greatest nights of
the Bible; but it is also one of the most mysterious,
one of the most difficult to explain. Time and time
again I have come up in my studies of the Bible and
the characters of the Bible to this night when Jacob
wrestled with the angel, and never yet with much
satisfaction have I set down my conclusions concerning
it. Nor have I ever read any exposition of this
narrative that has helped me a great deal.
Nevertheless, the drawing power, the fascination, of
this story of the midnight encounter with the angel is
irresistible. There are a few great truths here that
we can bring out even if we cannot penetrate to the
heart of this battle of Jacob, for it has all the
mystery and yet all the fascination of the night.

Let us recall the events that led up to this midnight
battle. After twenty years of toil and perseverance,
which had been crowned with success, Jacob is coming
back from Padan-aram and the home of Laban to his own
country. He had gone out with nothing but his staff;
but now he comes back a rich man, with flocks and
herds and his two wives and their children. On the way
back, at Mahanaim, angels of God met him. With all his
worldly, grasping nature, and oftentimes sensual
indulgences, Jacob saw a great deal of the angels, and
with his dying breath he testified to how the angel of
God had led him. At this particular time he sorely
needed the visit of those angels at Mahanaim, for as
he drew near to his own country there rose up before
him to frighten him and dismay him the memory of his
old transgression. He remembered how he had cheated
his brother, Esau, and got from their father the
blessing that belonged to the older brother. Fearful
of the vengeance of Esau, Jacob seeks to placate him
and sound him out with a present. But the only a ...

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