To see the face of G-d and Live

Wrestling with G-d


To see the face of G-d and Live

No one can see the face of G-d and live.

Exo 33:20 But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."

We can see from the text in Gen 32:30 that Jacob saw G-d face to face and lived.

Gen 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen G-d face to face, and my life is preserved."

Is there a conflict in Torah? It is said there cannot be conflicts in the Torah, only apparent conflicts. Therefore what appears as a conflict must only be related to our understanding of the actual meaning of the text. If Jacob saw G-d as stated in Gen 32:30 then how did G-d manifest to Jacob without destroying him? Jacob answers this for us himself. Let’s look at Gen: 32:24:

Gen 32:24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.

G-d appeared in the form of a man. Then Jacob wrestled with the man. Later in the text he describes this man as Eloheem or translated as G-ds. This is the plural form of the Creator. This is not the personal name of G-d, which is later given to Moses in Exodus 6:3

Exo 6:3 "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as G-d Almighty, but by My name L-RD I was not known to them.

Then what, or who, was this man that Jacob wrestled? Would G-d appear as a man? How would G-d appear so man would not be destroyed? What does G-d say He would look like? Again, the answer is in Scripture.

Gen 1:26 Then G-d said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

From the verse at Gen 1:26 we see man was created in the image of G-d. Did G-d appear to Jacob in the form of a man? What did Jacob see in this man to want a blessing from him? What was the blessing Jacob received?

Gen 32:26 And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!"

The blessing Jacob was given would significantly change Jacob’s life. He was changed from Jacob to Israel. The change from Jacob ("heel holder" or "supplanter") to Israel ("G-d prevails"). How could Jacob become Israel ("G-d prevails")? Let’s look at verse 28. The man says, " you have struggled with man and G-d and prevailed." How could Jacob have struggled with G-d and lived? Yet the text clearly states Jacob struggled with man and G-d.

Gen 32:28 And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with G-d and with men, and have prevailed."

Not only did Jacob struggle, but as he prevailed he changed his destiny. Jacob now became a new person. He was transformed, from Jacob to Israel. Now Jacob became Israel, the one through whom G- d would prevail. Jacob was locked into a spiritual struggle with G-d and G-d came to Jacob in the form of a man. The man who blessed Jacob never told Jacob his name, even though Jacob asked.

Gen 32:29 Then Jacob asked, saying, "Tell me Your name, I pray." And He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name?" And He blessed him there.

After Jacob was blessed by the man and when the man did not tell Jacob his name, Jacob realized he had seen G-d face to face, and lived. How would Israel now respond after he realized he had seen G-d face to face? Let’s look at the text.

Gen 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen G-d face to face, and my life is preserved."

Jacob then offered one of the highest forms of worship to the man. He named the place of the struggle after his experience. The name he chose was Peniel: "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

Gen 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen G-d face to face, and my life is preserved."

Israel saw his struggle with a man as a struggle with G-d. Israel attested to the fact that he had seen G-d face to face. G-d approached Israel in the form of a man so that Jacob would not be destroyed. Then Jacob wrestled with the man not knowing it was G-d until Jacob prevailed and received his blessing, being transformed to Israel ("G-d Prevails"). G-d was ready to take the form of a man. He came to Jacob in the form of a man so Jacob would not be consumed. And Israel was able to see G-d face to face.

Will we someday live up to our name of Israel ("G-d Prevails")?

Does Israel still struggle with G-d who came in the form of a man?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in messianic/faith. Bookmark the permalink.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS. SHALOM!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s