What does Jacob mean when he says, "I have seen God and my life has been spared" (Gen. 32:30)?
No human being in their present condition can see God in His essential being and live to tell others about the experience (Ex. 33:18–20). God is so utterly beautiful and thrilling that the mere sight of Him would fill us with so much joy we would burst and it would kill us! In grace and mercy, the Lord appeared to Jacob in human form not to crush him with His glory. Jacob was thankful that he had the privilege to see God, even in this way, and was able to live to tell others about the experience.