In Genesis 32:22-30 after his wrestling match Jacob says "I saw God face to face and yet my life was spared." Yet 1 John 4:12 says "No one has ever seen God." Did Jacob see God? --  Bryan Rounds

You have said it yourself: Jacob did not see God--at least not fully! No one can enter the presence of God, beholding his full glory and purity and brilliance, without being vaporized. Evil and God cannot coexist. That is my take on Habakkuk 1:13. Yet Jacob did see God--in some sense. He "saw" that no one by sheer grit and will and perseverance can back God into a corner, force his hand, or extract blessings. He "saw" his own weakness and felt it painfully. It all depends on how you define the word "see." Moses and the elders "saw God," yet John 1 says no one has ever seen God. Only in Jesus do we really see God (John 1:14-18; 14:9). Yet when we look at Jesus we are not being exposed to the complete, intense, terrifying, awesome, overwhelming presence of God. Even to catch a sideward glimpse of him is suffocating, enervating, totally debilitating (Daniel 8:27, 10:17). No one has ever seen him in one sense, but we all see him in another. So the answer remains, without any hint of double talk, both yes and no.

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