2739. “I Have Enough.”

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“I Have Enough.”

No. 2739-47:373. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, December 9, 1880, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, August 11, 1901.

Esau said, “I have enough.” … Jacob said, “I have enough.” {Ge 33:9,11}

1. It is a very rare thing to meet people who say that they have enough, for those who have the most generally desire more, and those who have little feel that contentment is a thing which cannot reasonably be expected from them. For any person honestly and truthfully to say, “I have enough,” is so unusual a circumstance that I do not remember having heard it often. I have done so a few times, at long intervals. This being the case as a rule, it is very remarkable that there should be, in this chapter, a record of two people, who each said, “I have enough.” It is especially noteworthy that this was said by two brothers; for, generally, if one of two brothers is contented, the other is of quite a different disposition. One may be of a very happy and easy-going spirit, but the other possesses enough worry and care to have enough for two. But here are two brothers, twins, yet each one says, “I have enough.”

2. It will appear to you as an even more exceptional fact if you remember that these brothers differed so greatly from each other in other respects. The one was described by the apostle Paul as a “profane person, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright”; yet he says, “I have enough.” The other was a man who had wrestled with God, and who had power with God and with men as a prince; he also says, “I have enough.” It seems to me as if, on that occasion, the blessing of their father Isaac rested on them both; for you remember that, although Esau did not receive the great blessing — the covenant blessing, — that having gone to Jacob who secured it by deception, yet Esau did receive a great blessing of a temporal kind, which Isaac pronounced on him with all the fervour of a father who loved his son most ardently. So Esau received what he most wanted, for he cared very little for the spiritual blessing, — not being a spiritual man, — and when he obtained the temporal blessing, that satisfied his heart, and he said, “It is enough.” The blessing of a gracious father is a blessing indeed; and though it may not always come, as we could wish, in the spiritual way, for all sons are not Jacobs, yet, nevertheless, it does come in some way or other; and so Esau received the blessing which his father Isaac had pronounced on him when he said, “Behold, your dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above.”

3. I am going to try to show you that, although these two different people each said, “I have enough,” and although the meaning of their words was in some sense alike, yet there were great differences concerning the innermost meaning of the very same words when they came out of different mouths.

4. I. My first observation is, that HERE IS AN UNGODLY MAN WHO SAYS THAT HE HAS ENOUGH.

5. There are some unconverted men who are content with their present possessions; it is not always or often the case, but it is so sometimes. Contentment is not altogether a spiritual gift; it is possessed by some men who make no pretence to spiritual attainments. You must admit that it is so; and it is always unfair and unjust, because it is false, to say that merely moral men have no moral virtues, for they sometimes have excellencies which, for what they are, shine very brightly, and put to shame the defects of professing Christians. A Bristol stone is not a diamond, and it is not worth anything like the price of a diamond; but if you were to say that it was not like a diamond, and that it did not shine, you would do it a gross injustice. Paste gems are not real jewels; but they are made so remarkably like the genuine article that, if you were to say that they have no brilliancy, you would be denying what is a matter of fact. And, in the same way, there are unconverted men whose natural excellencies are bright and shining, and ought not to be denied; and, though they are not the people of God, and in the day when God shall make up his jewels they will not be numbered with them, for they are mere counterfeits and imitations, yet there is much to be seen in them which we should admire, and of which we ought to confess the excellence. There are some men, who do not have the grace of God in their hearts, who, nevertheless, are not always fretting and worrying, as certain other people are. It is a comfort for their families that they are contented; and it is good that even an Esau should say, “I have enough.” It is good for Jacob that Esau should say it, and it is good for Esau himself. It is good for a man’s wife and his family that he should be of a happy temperament, and of a contented spirit, instead of being, as some are, perpetually grasping, and grinding, and scraping, and doing everything they can to get more to add to what they already possess. Well, then, if even unconverted men sometimes say, “We have enough,” — and we do occasionally meet such people, — what a shame it will be if those, who have the grace of God within them, should fall short of even that contentment which worldly men have attained, and should need such people as these to set them an example in such a matter as this!

6. Notice, next, that it is sometimes the case that ungodly men are contented, as Esau was when he said, “I have enough.” This may be because they are people of an easy disposition, who are readily pleased. There are some of whom we say that “they are easy as an old shoe”; and, generally, such people are not worth much more than an old shoe. These very easy-going people never do much in the world; but, still, for all that, they are happy in their easy mode of life. They are naturally satisfied with less than what satisfies others; they look on the bright side of things; they are cheerful from their bodily constitution, being endowed with good health; and their mental make-up, which is not quite so brisk as that of some others, but more calm and quiet — possibly more stupid, too, — enables them to say more readily than others do, “We have enough.”

7. I have no doubt that, sometimes, ignorance is a help to contentment. Hence the common saying, “If ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise”; which I will not take time to analyze, though it is open to criticism, for a great mistake lies behind it. But there are some men, who are contented with what they have, because they do not know of anything better. They are perfectly satisfied with their present sphere in life, for they were never out of it. They have always lived on the old farm where their father lived before them, and where their ancestors have lived for many generations; and they do not know of anything better than that. I should not like to transplant the tree that grows so well where it is, and I should be the last to wish to inject cares, and anxieties, and ambitions into the heart of a man who is naturally contented with his lot.

8. I do not say that this was Esau’s case, however. I think he was contented, and said, “I have enough,” for quite another reason. Some are contented because they are utterly reckless, and only consider present pleasure. They live from hand to mouth, and never calculate what may happen tomorrow. Laying up for a rainy day seems to them to be preposterous. If they have just sufficient for the passing hour, it is quite enough for them. In some respects, how like this vice is to the virtue which the Christian ought to seek after! Yet it is a vice as we see it in the ungodly; for they are careless, heedless, reckless, as was this man Esau, who, coming in hungry and faint from the chase, sells his birthright for one mess of red pottage, not knowing and not caring what the spiritual value of that birthright might be, but selling it immediately so that he might satisfy his hunger. There are some who are contented for this reason, that they do not exercise thought, they do not give due consideration to their true condition, and they say, “We have enough,” because they have just sufficient for the present time. Such contentment as that, I do not commend; if any of us have it, may God deliver us from it!

9. Yet let me notice, next, that in the contentment of unconverted men, there are some good points. For, first, it may prevent greed in them. When a man says, “I have enough,” you do not expect him to be one of those who grind the faces of the poor, and who must cross sea and land to get more wealth for themselves. Now, in Esau’s case, he declined his brother’s present until he was pressed to accept it; and I have no doubt that he honestly declined it, on the basis that he had enough. His brother had planned this gift to propitiate his favour, but he tells him that he does not need it, that he loves him without the present, and he has enough, so does not require it. It is a good thing for a man, even if he does not have the grace of God, to be so contented with the things which he has, as not to be covetous of the things of others, for covetousness is a great sin, and is condemned in that commandment which says, “You shall not covet anything that is your neighbour’s.” So far, contentment is a good thing, if a man is so satisfied with what he has that he does not covet what belongs to another.

10. It is also right and proper that he should not have any envious bad feelings towards others. If others are better off than they are, some people immediately find fault with providence, and are envious and jealous of the person who appears to be more favoured than they are. Esau was not of that mind, for he said to Jacob, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” There is another sense implied in the Hebrew, “Be that to you what is yours; may it do you good; may you use and enjoy it yourself!” I like to hear a man say, “My motto is, ‘Live, and let live.’ I have enough, and I wish others to have enough, too; and if another man’s ‘enough’ is larger than mine, I am glad he has it. If he is capable of more enjoyment than I am, let him have it; why should I not rejoice in his joy, and so suck out of the sweets that belong to him some sweetness for myself by being glad that another is not so poor as I am, or so sick as I am, or so feeble as I am, or being glad that there are some who can excel myself, even in the point of earthly happiness?” So far so good, Esau, that you should say, “I have enough.”

11. Still, there is an evil side to this contentment, as you must have seen in many who have possessed it. In some people, it has led to boasting. They are so satisfied with everything they have that they are quite sure that no one else owns anything half so good as what they have. If they have a horse, there is never another horse within a hundred miles that can trot like theirs; if one should go faster, it is because their animal was a little out of condition that day. They think there is no such farm as theirs, or no such trade as theirs, or nothing in the world that can be compared with what they have; and they are even foolish enough to tell you so. This very contentment that they have breeds boasting in the flesh, and boasting in their own possessions, all of which is evil and obnoxious in the sight of God.

12. We have also seen it lead to a contempt of divine things; and this is even worse. Esau says, “I have enough,” yet he had lost his birthright, he had lost all the blessings of the covenant, he had lost all part and lot in God, and goodness. It is an awful contentment when man can be satisfied without God. What a terrible peace is that when a man is in a peaceful state of mind, although he is unsaved! It is like that dreadful calm, in the tropics, of which we have sometimes read, where there has been no wind for many a day, and the very deep is rotting, and everything seems stagnant and full of death. There are some men who have reached that kind of contentment in which their conscience is seared as with a hot iron. They want no heaven; earth is their heaven. They do not desire to be carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom; to fare sumptuously every day here, is enough bliss for them. They are content not to have the children’s portion, and to be scourged because God loves them; they wish to have the lot of the bastard, who is without chastisement, and who is not acknowledged as a son. They have their portion in this life, and that is the worst thing about this kind of contentment, for it argues that God is giving them here all the joy that they will ever have.

13. Looked at from that standpoint, there was something very dreadful in Esau’s saying, “I have enough.” If you could have put Jacob in Esau’s place, with Jacob’s convictions, with Jacob’s knowledge of God, with Jacob’s desire to be on good terms with God, do you think that he would have said, “I have enough, for I have these camels, and cattle, and sheep, though I do not have God?” Oh, no! Jacob would have said, “Enough, my Lord? All this is nothing without you. I promised you, if you would give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on, and bring me again to my father’s house in peace, I would be yours; but I cannot be content without you”; so he grasps the Angel of the covenant, and he says to him, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me”; for he felt that, until God blessed him, he could not say, “I have enough.” There is no real contentment for a truly awakened man until he is at peace with God, and it is a horrible thing for any man to be perfectly satisfied while he is under God’s wrath, and in danger of eternal destruction, as he certainly is unless he has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to put a few very sharp thorns into the pillow of any easy-going people here who are content outside of Christ. I would even wound you so that you may come to Christ for healing, and strike you so that you may resort to the great Physician for the cure which only he can work, for it is a dreadful thing that you should be at ease when you have such grave cause for turmoil. “ ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’ ”

14. II. Now I must pass on to the better part of my subject. HERE IS A GODLY MAN WHO SAYS THAT HE HAS ENOUGH; this is Jacob.

15. I will begin by remarking that it is a pity that this is not true of every Christian man. It is a sad thing when a man is godly, and yet does not say, “I have enough.” The apostle does not say that contentment in itself is great gain, but he says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain”; so that it is not the contentment without the godliness that is the gain; and, on the other hand, any form of godliness that does not bring contentment with it, should be seriously questioned. A godly man, who does not yield ready assent to all God’s will, ought to pray to be made a godlier man. That man who says, “I am a Christian,” and then murmurs, ought to pray to God to forgive his murmuring, and to make him more of a Christian. It should be a distinguishing characteristic of a child of God that, even when he is in the greatest agony, and his prayer has the most disturbance in it, it should never go beyond the line laid down by Christ himself, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.” Your heart is breaking, you say, with your troubles. It needs more breaking; for, if it was broken, the trouble would not break it. Where our selfishness and our self-will come in, there our sorrows begin. What is needed is not the removal of trouble, but the conquest of self. When the grace of God has brought us to sing from our hearts the verse we sang just now, all will be well with us, —

    Father, I wait thy daily will:
    Thou shalt divide my portion still:
    Give me on earth what seems thee best,
    Till death and heaven reveal the rest.

16. When God’s will and our will are contrary to each other, we may be sure that there is something amiss with us. We are never right until God’s will becomes our will, and we can honestly say, “The will of the Lord be done.” Therefore it is a sad thing when a Christian man cannot say, “I have enough”; but it is a very sweet thing when he can truthfully say it. Then he really does enjoy life, — when he thanks God for what he is, and for what he is not, — when he thanks God for health, and also for sickness, — when he thanks God for gains, and also for losses, — when he sings a song in the night, as the nightingale does, as well as a song in the day, as the lark does. He proves then that he does not follow God for what he gets out of him, as stray dogs will follow a man in the street who feeds them; but that he follows God out of sincere love for him, because God is his Master, and he belongs to him. It is true blessedness, a little heaven begun below, when the Christian, looking all around, can say of all temporal things, “I have enough.”

17. It is an even better thing when the Christian has more than enough. Jacob was in that condition, for he felt that he could give Esau all those goats, and sheep, and camels, and cows, and bulls, and donkeys, and yet be able to say, “I have enough.” It is a blessing when a godly man feels, “I have more than enough for my own needs, so I am glad that I can help my fellow Christians. I have great joy and delight in aiding the poor and helping the needy.” When you can sing, with the psalmist, “My cup runs over,” be careful that you call someone to come and catch the spillings; for if you let it run to waste, it may be said of you, “That man cannot be trusted with a full cup.” So let it run over where those with empty cups may come and catch it, to moisten their parched lips. It is a good thing when the Christian, even though he has very little, can say, “I have not only enough, but I have a little to spare for others who have less than I have.”

18. The charm of Jacob’s “enough” was, that God had given it to him. Esau says nothing about God; but Jacob says, “God has dealt graciously with me, and I have enough.” That is indeed a blessing which we can see comes to us from God, when on every mercy there is the mark of our Father’s hand. What are bursting barns if the wheat does not come from God? What are the overflowing wine-vats if the juice of the clusters is not from God? What is the good of your gold and silver if God has cursed it? But what a blessing it is when God has smiled on it all, and says to you, “My child, I give you this because you are my child; I make you my steward, and I entrust these earthly things to your keeping because I believe that you will use them for my glory, and for the good of your fellow creatures.” This puts a sweetness into the cup which, otherwise, would not have been there; so that it is a very different thing to be a child of God, and to have enough, and to be a child of the devil, and to have enough. May God grant that each one of us may know what it is to say with Jacob, “The Lord has dealt graciously with me, and I have enough!”

19. The correct rendering of our second text — as you may see by the marginal reading of your Bibles, — is that Jacob said, “I have all things.” Esau said, “I have enough”; but Jacob said, “I have all things”; and, as Matthew Henry says, “Esau’s enough was much, but Jacob’s enough was all. He who has much, would have more; but he that thinks he has all, is sure he has enough.” Well, he who believes in Christ has all things, for what does the apostle say? “All things are yours; and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” They are all yours in this sense, — that all that will be good for you God must give to you, he has pledged himself to this. “No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” He will therefore not withhold any good thing from you, so that all that is good for you, you are sure to get. All things are yours in the promises, and in the covenant; for that God, who took you to be his portion, has given himself to be your portion, and he is “God all-sufficient.” All things are in him, and in possessing him you have all things.

20. Oh, what privileges are yours, for, listen! God himself is yours. “I will be their God,” he says; and that is more than anything else that we can say. Even though all things are yours, you get beyond that when you can say that God is yours. The Eternal Father gives himself to you, with all his glorious attributes, with everything that belongs to him. He gives his very heart to you, “for the Father himself loves you.” The Son of God has loved you, and given himself for you, and he gives himself to you. All the merit of his atoning sacrifice, all the love of his heart, all the wisdom of his head, all the power of his arm, all is yours. His very life is yours, for he says to you, “Because, I live, you shall live also.” What an inheritance you have, then, in the Christ of God, and in the God of Christ! But then you also have the Holy Spirit to be yours. “He dwells with you, and shall be in you,” as in a temple. All light he will bring to you; all life he will maintain in you; all comfort he will bestow on you; all guidance and all quickening he will give to you. There is nothing which the Spirit of God can work which he will not work in you, according as you may have need of his divine operations. So, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all being ours, what a blessed portion we have! I do not wonder that Jacob said, “I have enough,” or that he said, “I have all things,” Blessed be the name of the Lord who has made it possible for any son of man to say as much as this!

21. While I was studying this subject, I found a sweet poem by that choice daughter of song, Miss Havergal. Each verse is on this subject, — “Enough.” I will read the verses one by one, and add only brief remarks, hoping that you may drink in the fulness of their meaning, and say with Jacob, if you are indeed a child of God, “I have enough.” The poem begins like this, —

    I am so weak, dear Lord, I cannot stand
       One moment without thee!
    But oh! the tenderness of thine enfolding!
    And oh! the faithfulness of thine upholding!
    And oh! the strength of thy right hand!
       That strength is enough for me!

There is to be none of your own strength, you see, and none that you can borrow from your neighbours. You may have many trials, long pilgrimages, great burdens; but God’s tenderness will enfold you, God’s faithfulness will uphold you, and God’s strength will indeed be enough for you. As I read that last line, I felt as if I could fall on my face, and laugh as Abraham did. Omnipotence enough for me? I should think it is! It is enough to uphold this great globe which God has hung on nothing; it is enough to sustain that unpillared arch of heaven, which stands firm by the divine might. It is enough for that sun, that has burned on through all these ages, and whose light has never failed; it is enough for the universe which is almost infinite; it is enough for every living thing that breathes; it is enough for cherubim, and seraphim, and all the angelic host. Then, of course, it is enough for me, — a little midge dancing up and down in the evening sunlight. Suppose a giant should lend me his strength, and say to me, “It will be enough for you.” I should think it would; but that would be little indeed compared with the Almighty God saying to me, “As your days, so shall your strength be.” Yes, my Lord, “Your strength is enough for me.”

22. The next verse of the poem is, —

    I am so needy, Lord, and yet I know
       All fulness dwells in thee;
    And hour by hour that never-failing treasure
    Supplies and fills, in overflowing measure,
    My least and greatest need; and so
       Thy grace is enough for me!

23. You remember how Paul says the Lord spoke to him: “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Think what grace there is in Christ Jesus our Lord, — electing grace, calling grace, forgiving grace, renewing grace, preserving grace, sanctifying grace, perfecting grace, grace piled on grace, grace that leads to glory. Oh beloved, all this grace is yours, and surely there is grace enough for you. Why do you fear that you will fail? Will God’s grace fail you? Will God’s grace forsake you, and permit you to perish by the hand of the enemy? Indeed, truly, then let each believer say to him, “Your grace is enough for me.”

24. Miss Havergal next writes, —

    It is so sweet to trust thy Word alone:
       I do not ask to see
    The unveiling of thy purpose, or the shining
    Of future light on mysteries untwining:
    Thy promise-roll is all my own, —
       Thy Word is enough for me!

25. It is very sweet to be able to say of the Lord’s promise, “That is enough for me; even if I do not see its fulfilment for many a day, the promise itself is enough for me. If the Lord seems to do nothing at all for my help, yet, since he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’ his Word is enough for me.” Why, beloved, you sometimes make a man’s word enough for you, the word of a man whom you can trust; and you say, “His word is his bond.” But God’s Word is backed by his oath; is that Word not enough for you? If so, why do you fret and worry? Rather, you should say to the Lord, “Your Word is enough for me.”

26. Then the gracious poetess continues, —

    The human heart asks love; but now I know
       That my heart hath from thee,
    All real, and full, and marvellous affection,
    So near, so human; yet divine perfection
    Thrills gloriously the mighty glow!
       Thy love is enough for me!

Can you say that, — you who have lost some dear one, you who are widowed, you who are childless, you who have been deceived and forsaken, — “a woman of a sorrowful spirit,” — a man cast down and lonely? Is God’s love enough for you? It ought to be, for if all the loves of husbands, wives, lovers, mothers, fathers, children, were distilled, and the quintessence taken out, it would be only like water as compared with the generous wine of God’s love. Does God love me? Then, if all the world shall hate me, it matters no more to me than if a single drop of gall should fall into an Atlantic full of sweetness and bliss. This light affliction, which is only for a moment, is not worthy to be compared with the very glory of being loved by God. Yes, my Lord, “Your love is enough for me.” It is a great heart that God’s love cannot fill; no, I must correct myself, and say that it is a base heart, — a wicked heart, — an unrenewed heart, that could not be filled with God’s love. It is not a broken heart, but a divided heart; and when the heart is divided, it does not retain the love of God. Oh, for a heart united to the heart of God! Then I shall say to him, “Your love is enough for me.”

27. The sweet poem closes like this, —

    There were strange soul-depths, restless, vast, and broad,
    Unfathomed as the sea;
    An infinite craving for some infinite stilling;
    But now thy perfect love is perfect filling!
    Lord Jesus Christ, my Lord, my God,
    Thou, thou art enough for me!

28. So may it be with each of us, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ge 32:1-33:12}

32:1, 2. And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.”

Jacob was about to enter into a great trial, and therefore he received a great comfort in preparation for it. God knows when to send angels to his servants; and when they come, it is often as the forerunners of a trial which is to follow them.

3-5. And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother to the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, “Thus you shall speak to my lord Esau; ‘Your servant Jacob says this, "I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: and I have oxen, and donkeys, flocks, and menservants and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in your sight."’ ”

It has been judged by some that Jacob, in sending such a message to Esau, acted unworthily and unbelievingly; but I think we are not called on to censure the servants of God in points in which they are not condemned in Scripture. The oldest brother, according to all Eastern customs, was the lord of the family, and Jacob had so grossly injured Esau that it well became him to walk very humbly and to abound in courtesy towards him. Besides, I hope we shall never imagine that the highest faith is inconsistent with the greatest prudence, and that we shall never forget that there is such a book in the Bible as the Book of Proverbs, which contains counsels of wisdom for daily life. That Book of Proverbs is placed not far from the Song of Solomon, which deals with high spiritual communion, as if to teach us that the next-door neighbour to the wisdom that comes from above which walks with God, is that prudence which God gives to his servants for their dealings with men. He who walks with God will not be a fool, for God is the source of all wisdom, and the man who walks with him will learn wisdom from him.

6-8. And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and also he comes to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds, and the camels, into two bands; and said, “If Esau comes to the one company, and strikes it, then the other company which is left shall escape.”

This fear and distress were sad proofs of lack of faith on Jacob’s part; for where there is strong faith, there may be a measure of human fear, but it will not go to the length of being “greatly afraid and distressed,” as he was. In this respect he falls short of his grandfather Abraham; yet, nevertheless, he acts wisely, first with common prudence, and next with uncommon prayerfulness.

9-12. And Jacob said, “Oh God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country, and to your kindred, and I will deal well with you’: I am not worthy of the least of all your mercies, and of all the truth, which you have shown to your servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and strike me, and the mother with the children. And you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”

Note the humility of Jacob’s prayer. We cannot expect our supplications to succeed with God unless we put them on the footing of free grace by acknowledging that we have no merit of our own which we can plead before him.

Yet notice also how Jacob reminds God of his promise, “You said, ‘I will surely do you good.’ ” That is the very pith and marrow of prayer when we can quote the Lord’s promise, and say to him, “Remember the word to your servant, on which you have caused me to hope.” You have a strong plea to urge with God when you can say to him, “You said,” for he is a God who cannot lie.

13-16. And he lodged there that same night; and took what came to his hand a present for Esau his brother; two hundred she-goats, twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, thirty milk camels with their colts, forty cows, and ten bulls, twenty she-donkeys, and ten foals. And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and put a space between drove and drove.”

That also was a very sensible arrangement on Jacob’s part, so that his brother might have time to think how he should act, for angry men often do in a hurry what they would not do if they had a little time given to them for consideration. Jacob knows this, so he lets Esau’s anger have an opportunity to cool down while he watches drove following drove.

17-21. And he commanded the first one, saying, “When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong? And where are you going? And whose are these in front of you?’ then you shall say, ‘They are your servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent to my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us’. And so he commanded the second, and the third, and all those who followed the droves, saying, ‘In this way you shall speak to Esau, when you find him.’ And say moreover, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face: perhaps he will accept me.” So the present went over before him: and he himself lodged that night in the company.

But in the middle of the night, he was in such deep anxiety concerning his meeting with his brother, and probably still more concerning his position towards his God, that he felt that he must get away alone to pray.

22-24. And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. And Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him there until the breaking of the day.

It does not say that he wrestled with the man, but “there wrestled a man with him.” We call him “wrestling Jacob,” and so he was; but we must not forget the wrestling man, — or, rather, the wrestling Christ, — the wrestling Angel of the covenant, who had come to wrestle out of him much of his own strength and wisdom, which, though it was commendable in a measure, and we have commended it, was wrong because it kept him from relying on the strength and wisdom of God.

25. And when he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

So that he fell, or began to fall; but he still gripped the Angel, and would not let him go.

26. And he said, “Let me go, for the day breaks.” And he said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”

That was grandly spoken.

27. And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”

“The supplanter.”

28. And he said, “Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel:

“A prince of God.”

28, 29. For as a prince you have power with God and with men, and have prevailed.” And Jacob asked him, and said, “Please tell me your name.” And he said, “Why do you ask for my name?” And he blessed him there.

He received what he sought for his needs, but not what he merely asked out of curiosity.

30-32. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face-to-face, and my life is preserved.” And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his thigh. Therefore the children of Israel do not eat of the sinew which shrank, which is on the hollow of the thigh, to this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.

33:1, 2. And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children to Leah, and to Rachel, and to the two handmaids. And he put the handmaids and their children in front, and Leah and her children behind, and Rachel and Joseph last.

He placed them in the order of his affection for them, the best-beloved in the rear.

3, 4. And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.

God had been very gracious to him, and all his fears were gone, so he met Esau as a brother, not as an enemy, and the four hundred men were willing to become his protectors.

5. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, “Who are those who are with you?” And he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

There was a considerable number of them altogether, more than enough, I expect most of you would think if you had them; but Jacob did not speak of them disparagingly, but he described them as “the children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

6-10. Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after that Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed themselves. And he said, “What do you mean by all this drove which I met?” And he said,“ These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.” And Esau said, “I have enough, my brother, keep what you have for yourself.” And Jacob said, “No, please, if now I have found grace in your sight, then receive my present from my hand:

For, among Orientals, it is such a common custom to offer and receive presents, that, if they are not accepted, it is regarded as an affront.

10-12. For therefore I have seen your face, as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. Please take my blessing that is brought to you; because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” And he urged him, and he took it. And he said, “Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before you.”

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Unchanging Love — Begone, Unbelief” 734}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Support in Affliction — ‘As Thy Day, Thy Strength Shall Be’ ” 744}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, A Happy Portion — The Christian’s Treasure” 757}


The Christian, Privileges, Unchanging Love
734 — Begone, Unbelief <10.10.11.11.>
1 Begone, unbelief, my Saviour is near,
   And for my relief will surely appear;
   By prayer let me wrestle, and he will perform,
   With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.
2 Though dark be my way, since he is my guide,
   ‘Tis mine to obey, ‘tis his to provide;
   Though cisterns be broken, and creatures all fail,
   The word he has spoken shall surely prevail.
3 His love in time past forbids me to think
   He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink;
   Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
   Confirms his good pleasure to help me quite through.
4 Determined to save, he watch’d o’er my path
   When, Satan’s blind slave, I sported with death:
   And can He have taught me to trust in his name,
   And thus far have brought me to put me to shame?
5 Why should I complain of want or distress,
   Temptation or pain? he told me no less;
   The heirs of salvation, I know from his word,
   Through much tribulation must follow their Lord.
6 How bitter that cup no heart can conceive,
   Which he drank quite up, that sinners might live!
   His way was much rougher and darker than mine;
   Did Christ, my Lord, suffer, and shall I repine?
7 Since all that I meet shall work for my good,
   The bitter is sweet, the medicine is food;
   Though painful at present ‘twill cease before long,
   And then, oh how pleasant, the conqueror’s song!
                        John Newton, 1779.


The Christian, Privileges, Support in Affliction
744 — “As Thy Day, Thy Strength Shall Be” <7s.>
1 Wait, my soul, upon the lord,
   To his gracious promise flee,
   Laying hold upon his word,
   “As thy day, thy strength shall be.”
2 If the sorrows of thy case
   Seem peculiar still to thee,
   God has promised needful grace,
   “As thy day, thy strength shall be.”
3 Days of trial, days of grief,
   In succession thou mayest see;
   This is still thy sweet relief,
   “As thy day thy strength shall be.”
4 Rock of Ages, I’m secure
   With thy promise full and free,
   Faithful, positive and sure:
   “As thy day, thy strength shall be.”
            William Freeman Lloyd, 1835.


The Christian, Privileges, A Happy Portion
757 — The Christian’s Treasure
1 How vast the treasure we possess!
   How rich thy bounty, King of grace!
   This world is our, and worlds to come:
   Earth is our lodge, and heaven our home.
2 All things are ours; the gift of God,
   The purchase of a Saviour’s blood;
   While the good Spirit shows us how
   To use and to improve them too.
3 If peace and plenty crown my days,
   They help me, Lord, to speak thy praise;
   If bread of sorrows be my food,
   Those sorrows work my real good.
4 I would not change my blest estate,
   For all that earth calls good or great;
   And while my faith can keep her hold,
   I envy not the sinner’s gold.
5 Father, I wait thy daily will:
   Thou shalt divide my portion still:
   Grant me on earth what seems thee best,
   Till death and heaven reveal the rest.
                        Isaac Watts, 1721.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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