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New Year’s Eve, and Staying Behind

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New Year’s Eve, and Staying Behind

7 minuten leestijd

“And Jacob was left alone” (Genesis 32:24a).

Rev. J. den Hoed, Franklin Lakes, NJ

The man who is speaking and being addressed is Jacob. All his possessions and family have crossed over the river, and he is left behind, standing before the river. Why is he staying behind? He is afraid. He is standing there thinking back to twenty years ago when he deceived his father and his brother. He remembers his brother’s anger toward him and his threat that he would kill him. Yes, he had sent a gift to his brother, and with that gift he had made a confession and asked for forgiveness. More than that there is still guilt by the Lord. That is why he is staying behind; all is not right between God and his soul.

Are there readers among us who, when all the family may cross over from the old year into the new, have to stay behind? People who are afraid because it is not right between God and their soul? We read of Jacob that he stayed behind and that the Lord came and wrestled with him. I would deem you and me greatly privileged if we might experience such a visit before we must cross over into the New Year.

It is true that Jacob could look back upon a Bethel in his life, and you are blessed if you can look back upon a time where the Lord has become too strong for you—a time when you received an eye that looked inward into a corrupt, depraved heart and an eye which was opened to see a holy and just God. Now you do not dare to cross over from the old year into the new. What if this is the year that I must leave this world and come into the presence of a holy God?

Jacob stayed behind; the burden of his guilt had never been taken away. Oh, what does such a man now need? He needs an eye of faith which may look upon the precious sacrifice of Jesus. Standing there, all alone, he needs to hear about the only way in which a sinner may be reconciled with a Just and holy God. He needs to hear about the blood of the Savior; He needs a hiding place behind that precious blood.

We read that throughout the long, lonely night Jacob wrestled with the Lord. Why? The Lord deemed it necessary to meet him where he was in order to wrestle with him. You are privileged when you have experienced that the Lord has come to wrestle with a guilty sinner. In that night the Lord said to Jacob, “Let me go, for the day breaketh,” but Jacob could not let the Lord go. How could he ever face the morning without God’s blessing for his soul? That was his condition, and that is the condition of all those poor, struggling children of God. Nothing else matters except to receive God’s blessing for their soul.

The turning over to a new year is only a station upon our journey to a never-ending eternity and brings us one year nearer to the day of our death. Will this be the year that we will experience the last day of our life and have to cross the Jordan of death? How can we ever cross that river if we have never heard the voice of the Lord speaking about that Name in whom all can be made new? Yes, Jacob had experienced a Bethel in his life, but as he placed his arms around that God who had come unto him you may hear that he needs a Peniel in his life before he can cross.

Are you able to identify with Jacob? Perhaps you cannot deny former sweet moments in your life, but now it is only because holiness has come from heaven that you cling to the Lord in this dark night. The New Year lies before you, but to go forward and to walk into it longing for what is missing in your heart is not possible. Oh, in this dark night you desire to say, “I cannot let Thee go.” When God comes and whispers in your ear, “But child, what is it that you want and need?” then the heart has only one answer, “Give me Jesus or I die.”

Oh, may that precious blood flow over my wretched heart. Bring me now behind that blood and let me there hear the voice of my God saying, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” In that night, before the breaking of the day, the Lord leads a sinful man to that forgiveness. “What is thy name?” Notice that it can never become Peniel unless there is a confession. The Lord does not pass over the sin of His children.

Just hear how in that dark night a guilty man lays all the sin at the throne of grace and mercy. My name is Jacob, I am a deceiver, I am a sinful man. There is nothing good that can ever come forth from me. “And He said.” That is the Lord who is speaking. What a wonder it is when such a broken, humbled man hears the voice of the Lord who is sitting upon His throne of grace and mercy. The only reason that He can speak of a Peniel to such a person is because of the precious Lamb of God, the only begotten Son of the eternal One. He came upon this world to pay that only price whereby the sins of His people can ever be forgiven. He entered into their hell to obtain the victory for them. It is because of the price of His blood that there is forgiveness.

“Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel.” No more Jacob; that is now all washed away in the precious blood of the Savior. No more Jacob because I have found a ransom for you. No more Jacob because My grace and mercy through that blood is for you. No more Jacob, but Israel, “for as a prince hast thou power with God.” Here Israel may delight himself in his God, and his God may delight Himself in Israel. “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

As he walked over, he walked into the light of a new day. Oh, what a blessed day and future may now be his. In his heart it was, “Lord, I am not my own but belong to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He shed His precious blood for me, and in that blood I now know that my sins are cast away.”

How blessed you are when you may know in your heart, as you pass from the old year into the new, that it is the Lord who has come to seek and to save you—to know that you are no longer for your own account but that the blood of Christ has fully satisfied for sin. Now you may hide behind that blood.

“And he halted upon his thigh.” He walked the remainder of his days here below as a cripple. The Lord always brings His children back to self, and the wonder of being saved becomes greater and greater. These are good times in the life of the sinner when the eye of faith may rest upon the sacrifice of the Savior and when he may lift up a hungering heart with empty hands and carry it all the way unto that gate where he will hear, “Come in, for in My Father’s house there are many mansions.”

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van dinsdag 1 december 2015

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

New Year’s Eve, and Staying Behind

Bekijk de hele uitgave van dinsdag 1 december 2015

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

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