Wrestling

Posted by
No, it's not about the WWE, though, I did stop by the corporate headquarters once last fall as I was driving along I95 on my way to a theology conference at Providence, RI--on the way back, I stopped by New Haven if that helps!  The wrestling I have in mind is Genesis 32 . . .

I find this to be a most intriguing text, the kind of text that, as you keep turning it over in your mind, you think you get then quickly realize that you still have not plumbed it to the bottom.  I was flipping through one of my wife's poetry books, The New Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1950, and came across this poem by Charles Wesley, "Wrestling Jacob."  The particular way he puts a Christological twist, or christotelic twist, is most intriguing.  Enjoy.

 

WRESTLING JACOB

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

 

COME, O Thou Traveller unknown,

Whom still I hold, but cannot see,

My company before is gone,

And I am left alone with Thee.

With Thee all night I mean to stay,

And wrestle till the break of day.

 

I need not tell Thee who I am,

My misery, or sin declare,

Thyself hast call'd me by my name,

Look on thy hands, and read it there,

But who, I ask Thee, who art Thou?

Tell me thy name, and tell me now.

 

In vain Thou strugglest to get free,

I never will unloose my hold:

Art Thou the Man that died for me?

The secret of thy love unfold;

Wrestling I will not let Thee go,

Till I thy name, thy nature know.

 

'Tis all in vain to hold thy tongue,

Or touch the hollow of my thigh:

Though every sinew be unstrung,

Out of my arms Thou shalt not fly;

Wrestling I will not let Thee go,

Till I thy name, thy nature know.

 

My strength is gone, my nature dies,

I sink beneath thy weighty hand,

Faint to revive, and fall to rise;

I fall, and yet by faith I stand,

I stand, and will not let Thee go,

Till I thy name, thy nature know.

 

Yield to me now--for I am weak;

But confident in self-despair:

Speak to my heart, in blessings speak,

Be conquer'd by my instant prayer,

Speak, or Thou never hence shalt move,

And tell me, if thy name is LOVE.

 

'Tis Love, 'tis Love! Thou diedst for me,

I hear thy whisper in my heart.

The morning breaks, the shadows flee:

Pure UNIVERSAL LOVE Thou art,

To me, to all, thy bowels move,

Thy nature, and thy name is LOVE.

 

Contented now upon my thigh

I halt, till life's short journey end;

All helplessness, all weakness I,

On Thee alone for strength depend,

Nor have I power, from Thee, to move;

Thy nature, and thy name is LOVE.

 

Lame as I am, I take the prey,

Hell, earth, and sin with ease o'ercome;

I leap for joy, pursue my way,

And as a bounding hart fly home,

Thro' all eternity to prove

                        Thy nature, and thy name is LOVE.

Posted October 21, 2009 @ 9:07 AM by Stephen Nichols
TOPICS:

Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Inc. © 2005-2018   |   alliance@alliancenet.org   |   800.956.2644   |   Frequently Asked Questions   |   Login