Face to Face

Bible students are familiar with the story of Jacob's struggle at Peniel, as related in the thirty-second chapter of Genesis. There we read that as he was returning from his sojourn in Haran, Jacob was overwhelmed with fear when told that Esau with four hundred men was coming to meet him. Realizing his need of divine help, he spent the night in an earnest struggle to overcome the errors of hatred and fear with the eternal truths of being. Love must rise triumphant over hate. Holding thought steadfastly, as he may have done, to the power of God, good, Jacob vanquished his sense of error; and he joyously exclaimed, as the day dawned, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." With a truer sense of love he now went forward to meet his brother and found a loving welcome awaiting him.

The question presents itself, What does it mean to see God "face to face"? Does it not imply that one so clearly beholds the nature of God that whatever contradicts His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience must vanish from thought? Since God, Love, is infinite, Love must be everywhere expressed. The light of spiritual understanding reveals the Father's face; and the patriarch, we read, held to spiritual light until his nature was so transformed that he was no longer known as Jacob, but as Israel.

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