Attention!
StudyLight.org has pledged to build one church a year in Uganda. Help us double that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries

Philpot's Commentary on select texts of the Bible

Genesis 32

Verse 26

Ge 32:26

"I will not let you go, except you bless me." — Ge 32:26

It is encouraging to the Lord’s people as they are from time to time placed in similar circumstances of trial, exercise, perplexity, sorrow or distress with Jacob, to see the blessed result of his wrestling with the angel. He crosses the ford of Jabbok all weakness; he re-crosses it all strength. He leaves his family, and wrestles alone, a fainting Jacob; he returns to them a prevailing Israel. He goes to the Lord in an agony of doubt and alarm, fearing every moment lest he and all that was dear to him would be swept off from the face of the earth; he returns with the Lord’s blessing in his soul, with the light of the Lord’s countenance lifted up upon him.

And is not this instance recorded for the instruction and consolation of the Lord’s living family? Are they not from time to time in circumstances experimentally which resemble Jacob’s circumstances literally? Have they not similar difficulties and similar necessities? And does not the Lord from time to time raise up in their heart the same faith to lay hold? the same importunity to keep hold? And shall He who gave Jacob such a merciful deliverance—shall He who has recorded in his holy word this remarkable event in Jacob’s life for the edification and instruction of his people in all times—hear Jacob, and not hear them? It is derogatory to the sympathizing "Man of Sorrows;" it is treason against the Majesty of heaven to believe, that a child of God in similar circumstances can go to the Lord in a similar way and not get a similar blessing.

"And he said, I will not let you go, unless you bless me." Ge 32:26

What a strange intermixture there is in a believing heart of everything to cast down and yet of everything to encourage! How there is everything on the one side to perplex, to confuse, and put the soul to its wits’ end, and yet how on the other there is everything to hold up its head, strengthen its faith, support its hope, and encourage it to hold on to the last gasp! Now this is that very trial of faith which is more precious than of gold that perishes, for faith is not a dead, sluggish grace, and is never more active than when it is being tried as with fire. You cannot give up from what you have felt and experienced, for that is the grand evidence, the persuasion that you have the life of God in your soul, and compared with that how worthless and valueless all other things seem to be in your eyes, because to give that up is to give up all your hope.

Here, then, is the grand mystery, to hang and hold on, to hold out, and not allow oneself to be cast away, but the more the Lord would seem to put us away, the more to cling to him. Was not this the faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman, who, so to speak, would not take "No" for an answer? or, like the faith of Ruth, "Entreat me not to leave you?" or, like the faith of Hannah, when "she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord and wept sore?" Does not this faith resemble that of Heman’s, when he cried out, "Will you show wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise you?" and that of Asaph, when his feet were almost gone, and his steps had well-near slipped?

Thus the more the Lord seems to put us away, the more we cling to him. The viler we are, the more we need his grace; and the very magnitude of our sins only makes us hang more upon his atoning blood and cling more closely to his word and promises as suitable to our case. Nor will anything induce us to give up our hope or relinquish our hold of his mercy.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Genesis 32". Philpot's Commentary on select texts of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jcp/genesis-32.html.