"..and the violent take it by force."

"..the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12

I've been mulling over this verse, this past week.

Strong words, they are.

"..and the violent take it by force."

It makes me think of that Patriarch of old, Jacob. That night he wrestled with God by the river, Jabbok.

Long and hard Jacob wrestled that night.

 It wasn't till almost the break of dawn, that the mighty Angel placed His finger on the thigh of Jacob, and he was instantly crippled.

But only then it was, that Jacob was shown how weak he really was, and who it really was that he was wrestling with, that he truly be came strong, and won the battle... even over the Majesty of Heaven Himself!

"All penitent and broken, he clung to the Angel; "he wept, and made supplication" (Hosea 12:4), pleading for a blessing. He must have the assurance that his sin was pardoned. Physical pain was not sufficient to divert his mind from this object. His determination grew stronger, his faith more earnest and persevering, until the very last. The Angel tried to release Himself; He urged, "Let Me go, for the day breaketh;" but Jacob answered, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Had this been a boastful, presumptuous confidence, Jacob would have been instantly destroyed; but his was the assurance of one who confesses his own unworthiness, yet trusts the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God."  {PP 196.3}

 "Jacob "had power over the Angel, and prevailed." Hosea 12:4. Through humiliation, repentance, and self-surrender, this sinful, erring mortal prevailed with the Majesty of heaven. He had fastened his trembling grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart of Infinite Love could not turn away the sinner's plea."  {PP 197.1}

I can't help but be reminded of this verse...

  "..for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 10

It is when we are at our weakest point, that we are the strongest..

And how strong is that strength! Because it's not our own...

So what does it really mean that, "..the violent take it by force."?

I'll let these words explain..

"A deep sense of our need and a great desire for the things for which we ask must characterize our prayers, else they will not be heard. But we are not to become weary and cease our petitions because the answer is not immediately received. “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). The violence here meant is a holy earnestness, such as Jacob manifested. We need not try to work ourselves up into an intense feeling, but calmly, persistently, we are to press our petitions at the throne of grace. Our work is to humble our souls before God, confessing our sins, and in faith drawing nigh unto God. . . . " {OFC 136.2}

"Every faculty and feeling must be engaged. Ardor and earnest prayer must take the place of listlessness and indifference. Only by earnest, determined effort and faith in the merits of Christ can we overcome, and gain the kingdom of heaven. Our time for work is short." (YI May 24, 1900).  {1BC 1095.8}

This is what it means to wrestle in prayer my friends...

I want to have this sort of violence. 

 "...I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Genesis 32:26

I don't know about you, but I want to gain the victory in this battle!

And it's only at my weakest point that I shall... 

Yes, this battle shall only be won, on my knees! 


  1. Amen! When we feel our weakness, and a need for forgiveness, that's when we have the most strength in the eyes of God!


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