So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” —Genesis 32:30 ESV
Henry Law, comments at Grace Gems:
But is the lonely Jacob long alone? Oh no. A stranger suddenly draws near, and grapples with him, and strives with mighty energy to stop his progress, and to lay him in the dust. But who thus wrestles in the solemn stillness of this solemn night? The form is human, but the person is Divine. We read, “As a prince you have power with God;” therefore the wrestler is God. Jacob confirms the fact: “I have seen God face to face.” Thus, through the veil of apparent mortality, we trace the angel of the everlasting covenant, our great Emmanuel, God manifest in the flesh.
- As man, He spoke with Adam in the garden;
- as man, He walked by Abraham’s side;
- as man, He here struggles with the wandering patriarch.
It is indeed a rich display of grace, that Jesus thus should stand in sinners’ likeness on this sin-rank soil. But it is grace above grace, that, in the fullness of time, He should take our manhood into God, and wear it on the cross, and in the grave! and then bear it to heaven, as His triumphal robe forever!