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God never abandons His children to the forces of evil circumstances resulting from their own folly. The fourth direct communication to Jacob was that which called him back to Beth-el. Again the evidence of his faith in God is found in the fact that his response was immediate. Moreover, its genuineness is evidenced by his destruction of the foreign gods, the quick movement to Beth-el, and the immediate erection there of an altar.
This obedience was followed immediately by the fifth divine communication; only the name Israel was again pronounced. It would seem almost as though Jacob had not entered into the experience of the blessing won by the Jabbok until now. In that night the vision had come to him, and his crippling was evidence of the reality of the divine action. All this, however, had not been translated into victory in the details of his life.
How often this is so. In some great crisis of revelation a larger life is seen, its laws appreciated, and its claims intellectually yielded to. Yet it is not wrought out into the details of life, and so oftentimes its greatest value is gained only through some subsequent experience of failure.
In this fifth of God's direct appearances to Jacob, God not only again declared the new name of the man, but gave him His own name with a new significance. It was the name El-Shaddai, which He had first used to Abraham on the occasion when his name was changed from Abram to Abraham. Its supreme value is its declaration of the all-sufficiency of God.
In this chapter we have also the account of the sorrows following on this experience: the death of Rachel, the sin of Reuben, the death of Isaac. All which things played their part in the final making of the man.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Genesis 35". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany