Friday 20 Apr 2018
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John 6:48

I am the bread of life.


The Place Called Peniel

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Article Index
The Place Called Peniel
Peniel a place of divine transaction and exchange
The mode of transaction
The details of the transaction
Jacob received his blessing
Final words
All Pages

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying 'It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared'. - Genesis 32: 30

For those who are familiar with the story of Jacob, the name or the place called Peniel would not sound strange to them at all, I say so because of the event that took place at this place. For the sake of those who not are familiar with the story, let us revisit this place and recapture the event that took place there and why it is worth talking about.

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till day break. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said let me go, for it is daybreak. But Jacob replied I will not let you go unless you bless me. The man asked him What is your name? Jacob 'he answered'.

Then the man said, Your name will no longer be Jacob but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared. (Genesis 32:24-28, 30).

You may be wondering by now what is important about Peniel, even after reading the account of what took place at the place? Well this whole exposition sets out to draw our attention to the importance of this particular event that took place in the life of Jacob as well as how it also relates to us. We need to understand that the stories that we read about in the bible relate to us in many ways, especially if it is in the same God that we believe and worship. If the God we are serving is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, then what took place in the life of Jacob, especially the event at Peniel must surely interest us beyond the cursory attention of just glossing over the passage during the moments of our bible studies.

The reason why I say this is because God is the same yesterday, the same today and same tomorrow, he is the one who does not change and he is an impartial God. His dealings with his creation may evolve, but he still deals with them on the same principle that defines who he is. If Jacob experienced God in the way and manner that he did at Peniel, then somewhere down the course of our fellowship with God, we would also come to our own Peniel someday.

That we would sooner or later come to our own Peniel is not the issue for discussion, but the real issue for discussion is to try to understand why anyone is taken to Peniel in the first place and what to expect if and when they do find themselves there. As a matter of fact, the real issue is to be able to recognise the place for what it is, just like Jacob found out, and ended up calling the place Peniel. This was the place where, he saw God face to face in the midst of the cloud of doom, that had gathered at the prospect of being re-united with his dreaded twin brother Esau.

Jacob could have called the place some other name, especially when one reads the context of the story and factor in the looming danger that made him to embark on some desperate measures in an attempt to save his own life. But after the encounter, he saw a different picture and a different face to what he was initially confronted with; he saw the face of God instead. You see it is possible to get to our own Peniel and fail to recognise it, it is possible to come to our own Peniel and struggle because we do not know what to do and how to handle the encounter we would encounter there. And it is possible to come to our Peniel and still leave empty handed, unlike Jacob who left with a limp, a new name and God's blessing. It is even possible to die in our Peniel by failing to make it out of the place alive or in one piece, unlike Jacob who saw God face to face and still lived to give his testimony.

So what exactly took place at the place called Peniel?

Home Expositions The Place Called Peniel The Place Called Peniel
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“?Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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