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Contributed by Elizabeth_Dandy on Wednesday, 17th May 2006 @ 10:05:47 AM AEST
Topic: inspirational

This story is so hard to tell about,-
It is about a man egged on to cheat,
A very cunning one, there is no doubt,
Adroit in many a clever stunt and feat.

He robbed his brother of his first-born right,
And blessings and rewards that go with it,-
Deceived his father who had lost his sight,-
Deft Jacob was a clever chap indeed.

As mother's favorite he got away
With crafty tricks without reproach, thus he
Dressed in his brother Esau's rough array,
To cheat his old blind father cunningly

The mother in cahoots with treachery
Gave to the cheating son her full support,
Without remorse, but ingenuity
Deceived her first-born son and her blind Lord.

Woe unto mothers that give preference
To favorite children and withhold rebuke-,
If bad weeds thrive, she need not ask from whence
Derive the gifts that make her child a crook.

But now the Blessingís mugger had to flee
From Brother Esauís wrath for the rapine,
He had to leave his land and family,
And headed northward by divine design.

He left for Paddam Aram hastily,
In fear of Brother Esau's vengeful hand,
Then served his kinsman Laban patiently,
And married Laban's daughters in that land.

There he atoned for cheating in his house,
For bitter were the jealousies and strives,-
Afflicting Jacobís heart as only spouse,
Of Rachel and of Leah Ė his two wives.

A penance tíis two wives to entertain,
That jealous of each other fight and spar,
And father Laban in the neck a pain,
For Jacob was with him at times at war.

Thus he now wanted to return back home,
And take possession of the Promised Land,
The land of milk and honey, grapes and pome,
And kiss its earth its sacred stones and sand.

He sent his family across the stream,
But he himself crossed not, but stayed behind,
Alike a man that searches in a dream
Lost buried treasure that he fails to find.

Deceived he had, his blessing was a fraud,
And soon he would his cheated brother meet,
He had not found the treasure that he sought
Nor did he get what he had coveted.

By Jabbok's banks he sat now wondering,
In fear of Brother Esau and cohort,
What would the meeting with the brother bring?
Would he in vengeance 'gainst him draw the sword?

But in the middle of the star-lit night
A mystery stranger appeared suddenly,
Attacking him and challenging a fight,-
But why? - this is the storiy's mystery.

Accustomed to quick victory Jacob fought
And through the night he wrestled with this foe,
While the mysterious stranger grabbed and caught
Deft Jacobís robe and would not let him go.

It seemed at first the stranger let him win,
Permitting him to brazenly defy,
Then Jacob felt a shiver 'long his skin,-
His foe had touched the hollow of his thigh.

He wished so much to see the strangerís face.-
The countenance of his adversary,
Who seemed to hold him in an iron brace-
And longed to know his foeís identity.

Perhaps he fought an angel of the Lord,-
Same sages think the pre-incarnate Christ
Did battle with him by the Jabbok's ford,
And it was Christ who held him mesmerized.

In winning fights deft Jacob was rehearsed,-
For none could match his guile and could resist,
His cleverness, but things were now reversed,
The winner would be his antagonist.

He let the wrestling Jacob have his way,-
Allowing him to outface him and beat,
To realize at last in disarray
He was defeated,- in a sound defeat !

He felt the injured sinew of his thigh
That made him limp, limp pityably so,
And Jacob, hurting now began to cry:
"I need you stranger, - and won't let you go!"

The face he glimpsed of his adversary
Crushed clever Jacob like a broken reed,
Prostrate, near death, he fell upon his knee,-
Then crumpled and surrendered in defeat.

The countenance - more terrible than death,-
He'd glimpse the stranger's face and traits thereof;-
Joy fierce,- deep grief, - unfathomable love
Where in that face, - and Jacob gasped for breath.

And in an instant change came to the cheat,
Another man he was - that did repent,
Amazing grace,- what glorious defeat!
Defeated by the Lord Almighty's hand.

No longer Jacob tending Labanís well,
But father of a strong and mighty race,
Whose name was altered,- changed to Israel, -
Mysterious are the Almightyís ways!

Explain it as you will, this story is
Consoling and confounding, - both maybe,
Another of Godís many mysteries,-
A crook was blessed with a Theophany.

How shall a poetís pen interpret ever
This extraordinary episode,
No matter how the bard be wise and clever,
He canít explain a mystery of God.

Why did the angel fight with Jacob, why?
Was there a reason for so fierce a bout?
It seems that Jacob felt aught went awry
And God perhaps would stoop and bail him out.

But bailing out is not the Lordís affair,
A bail-out is utilitarian,
It smells of underhanded savoir-faire,
While God aims at the core and heart of man.

Learned Jewish scholars say this struggle is
Conducted on two levels, and two planes,
Between two Nationsí worldview premises
And moral caliber each entertains.

Lo! on two planes this struggle thus takes place,
These scripture pundits earnesty aver,
One spiritual Ė for it has seen Godís face,
The other the materialist compŤre.

Are we deemed worth too of a Theophany
To battle with the Lord, contend and spar?-
In our soul's dark night we can not see,
But He may whisper softly ďYes you are!Ē

It does serve meanwhile as a paradigm
Of scarring, fear, of change and powerlessness,
Of humankind at large, at any time
Until the Lord in mercy wounds to bless.

But if you meet Him in your soulís dark night,
And think Him an adversary or foe,
Cling to Him, grab Him, - hold Him! hold Him tight,
Hold fast, hold fast! and never let Him go!.

Genesis 32.22-32

© Elizabeth Dandy

Copyright © Elizabeth_Dandy ... [2006-05-1710:05:47]
(Date/Time posted on site)

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Re: Theophany - Jacob battles with the Lord (User Rating: 1)
by ButchHoward on Friday, 19th May 2006 @ 01:37:19 PM AEST
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Yes, there are many mysteries that will confound us, as long as we are tied to our "mortal coils" in this world. There is only so much we can understand about God's plans, because we mortals simply do not possess the intellectual capacity to comprehend them! It is interesting that we perceive a thing that seems to be a curse, only to realize later, it was in reality a blessing. All we can do is continue to seek understanding, knowing that we will someday have the answers we seek. I enjoyed reading this.

Re: Theophany - Jacob battles with the Lord (User Rating: 1)
by sararose1950 on Friday, 19th May 2006 @ 03:02:40 PM AEST
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An amazing story Elizabeth!!! Thank you for sharing this one!!
Peace and Light!! Sara

Re: Theophany - Jacob battles with the Lord (User Rating: 1)
by Lionel on Sunday, 3rd September 2006 @ 08:03:41 PM AEST
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Oh, my dear: you've outdone yourself. This is wonderful. God bless you.

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