Transformation and Proof

The interesting narrative of Jacob's wrestle with a material sense of life, as related in the book of Genesis, has furnished inspiration and encouragement to a host of Christian warriors. So similar is his experience to that of other seekers for divine light that one cannot fail to see in this incident much that relates clearly to one's own experience; for every heart, in its striving toward a higher goal, has to face the conflict with the false concept of life and being.

Like all Bible narratives, this one requires more than a casual reading if we would gain from it the deeper meaning and learn the larger lesson it contains. In order to learn how complete was the transformation of his nature when his name was changed to Israel, it is helpful to compare the events in Jacob's life previous to this incident with those which follow. It may be recalled that he had become a fugitive from the wrath of his brother Esau, from whom he had stolen the birthright of their father's blessing; and after the lapse of many years he was on his way home, to meet Esau, but was in great dread of his wrath. Then he saw his brother, who ran to meet him; and they embraced in brotherly love. Ever after, the name "Israel," which was given to Jacob, was indicative of those seeking to follow the spiritual sense of life and putting away the false, material concept of life and man.

Being and Loving
July 4, 1931

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