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Wrestling Jacob (a.k.a. Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown)

Charles Wesley

24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a Man with him until the breaking of the day. 25And when He saw that he prevailed not 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. And He said, “Let me go, for the day breaketh.” And he said, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” 27And he said unto him, “What is thy name?” And he said, “Jacob.”  28And he said, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”  29And Jacob asked him, and said, “Tell me, I pray thee, thy name.” And he said, “Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?” And he blessed him there. — Genesis 32:24-29 KJV

4Yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto Him: he found Him in Beth-el, and there He spake with us; 5even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is His memorial. 6Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually. — Hosea 12:4-6 KJV

Come, O Thou Traveler 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 hand 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.

Wilt Thou not yet to me reveal
Thy new, unutterable name?
Tell me, I still beseech Thee, tell,
To know it now resolv’d I am;
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.

What tho’ my shrinking flesh complain,
And murmur to contend so long,
I rise superior to my pain;
When I am weak then I am strong.
And when my all of strength shall fail,
I shall with the God-man prevail.

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 blessing 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 mercies move—
Thy nature, and Thy name is Love.

My prayer hath power with God; the grace
Unspeakable I now receive;
Thro’ faith I see Thee face to face,
I see Thee face to face, and live;
In vain I have not wept, and strove,
Thy nature, and Thy name is Love.

I know Thee, Savior, who Thou art,
Jesus, the feeble sinner’s friend;
Nor wilt Thou with the night depart,
But stay, and love me to the end;
Thy mercies never shall remove,
Thy nature, and Thy name is Love.

The Sun of Righteousness on me
Hath ris’n with healing in His wings,
Wither’d my nature’s strength; from Thee
My soul its life and succor brings,
My help is all laid up above;
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,
Through all eternity to prove
Thy nature and Thy Name is Love.1


Lyre and Wreath, used under license from www.123rf.com (santi0103/123RF Stock Photo)

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  1. These last two stanzas are quoted by Percy Gutteridge in The Preparation of the Man of Faith.
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