And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
The way to get the blessing is to go to the Lord for it, resolved not to take a denial, nor to part with Him even till we get it. In prosecuting this doctrine, I shall —
1. Open up this way of getting the blessing.
2. I will show what it is that makes some souls so peremptory and resolute for the blessing, while others slight it.
3. I will show that this is the true way to obtain the blessing, and that they who take this way will come speed. I am, then —
I. To OPEN UP THIS WAY TO OBTAIN THE BLESSING, WHICH YOU MAY TAKE UP IN THESE PARTICULARS. If we would have the blessing, then —
1. We must have a lively sense of our need of it.
2. We must by faith lay hold on Christ the storehouse of blessings for it. God blesses us with all spiritual blessings in Christ.
3. We must by fervent prayer wrestle with Him for it. How did Jacob obtain it? "Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed; he wept and made supplication unto Him."
4. We must by believing the promise, keep a sure hold of the blessed Redeemer. He had said to Jacob, "I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea which cannot be numbered." And we find Jacob reminding Him of this promise (ver. 12). Now what way can we hold Him and not let Him go, but holding Him by His Word? They who hold Him by His Word, they have sure hold.
5. We must by hope wait for the blessing. "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait I say on the Lord."
6. We must leave no means untried to procure it.
7. No discouragements must cause us to faint.
8. If at any time we fall, we must resolutely recover and renew the struggle.
9. We must resolve never to give over till we get it, and so hold on. "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." This is the resolute struggle, this is the way to the blessing.Motives to urge you to this way —
1. Consider the worth of the blessing. Whatever pains, and struggles, and on-waiting it may cost, it will far more than repay the expense of all. God's blessing is God's good word to the soul, but it is big with God's grace and good deeds to the man that gets it; and that is enough to make one happy for ever.
2. Consider the need you have of it. You are by nature under the curse, and unless you get the blessing, you must for ever be under the curse.
3. If you will not be at this pains for it, you will be reckoned despisers of the blessing; and that is most dangerous, and will bring on most bitter vengeance. And you will see the day you would do anything for it when you cannot get it.
4. If you will take this way you will get the blessing.
II. To SHOW WHAT IT IS THAT MAKES SOME SOULS PEREMPTORY AND RESOLUTE FOR THE BLESSING, WHILE OTHERS SLIGHT IT.
1. Felt need engageth the soul to this course.
2. Superlative love to and esteem of Christ engageth them to this.
3. Without the blessing all is tasteless and unsatisfactory to them.
4. They see not how to set out their face in an ill world without it. They say with Moses, "If Thy presence go not with us, carry us not up hence."
5. They see not how to face another world without it.
III. THAT THIS IS THE TRUE WAY TO OBTAIN THE BLESSING, AND THAT THEY WHO MAKE THIS WAY WILL COME SPEED. "And He blessed him there." Such as come to Christ for the blessing, they shall get it, if they hold on resolutely and will not be said nay.
1. We have many certain instances and examples of those who have obtained the blessing this way. Jacob in the text. The spouse (Song of Solomon 3). The woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22 and downwards; see also Lamentations 3:40-50 and downwards). Would you know how to get the blessing? There is a patent way, behold the footsteps of the flock, not the footsteps of lifeless formal professors, who cannot go off their own pace for all the blessings of the covenant; but the footsteps of wrestling saints, who were resolved to have the blessing cost what it would
2. We have God's word or promise for it. "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall hath abundance."
3. It is the Lord's ordinary way to bring great things from small beginnings by degrees.
4. Consider the bountiful nature of God, who will not always flee from them that follow Him, nor offer to go away from them that will not let Him go, except He bless them.
5. None coming to Christ for the blessing ever got a refusal, but they that court it by their own indifference.
6. Our Lord allows and encourages His people to use a holy freedom and familiarity with Him, yea a holy importunity, as He teaches us (Luke 11:8, 9).
7. As importunity is usually in all cases the way to succeed, so it has special advantages in this case, which promise success.
(1) Our Lord does not free Himself of such as thus hold Him, and is not this promising?
(2) Nay, our Lord commands them to keep the hold which they have gotten. "Strive," says He, "to enter in at the strait gate." And is not this promising?Use
1. This lets us see why many fall short of the blessing. They have some motions of heart towards it, and if it would fall down in their bosom with ease, they would be very glad of it. They knock at God's door for it, and if He would open at the first or second call, they would be content, but they have no heart to hang on about it, and so they even let Him go without the blessing.Use
2. I exhort you all to hold on. You that have received a blessing, wait on resolutely for more. And you that are going away mourning, take up with no comfort till you get it from Himself; and be resolute that you shall never let Him go till He bless you.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.