And the famine was sore in the land.…
1. The character under which the Lord is addressed — "God Almighty," or God all-sufficient. This was the name under which Abraham was blessed, and which was used by Isaac in blessing Jacob. Doubtless Jacob, in putting up this prayer, thought of these covenant promises and blessings, and that it was the prayer of faith.
2. The mistake on which the prayer is founded, which yet was acceptable to God. He prayed for the turning of the man's heart in a way of mercy; but the man's heart did not need turning. Yet Jacob thought it did, and had no means of knowing otherwise. The truth of things may in some cases be o concealed from us, to render us more importunate; and this importunity, though it may appear at last to have been unnecessary, yet being right according as circumstances appeared at the time, God will approve of it, and we shall find our account in it.
3. The resignation with which he concludes: "If I am bereaved, I am bereaved!" It is God's usual way, in trying those whom He loves, to touch them in the tenderest part. Herein the trial consists. If there be one object round which the heart has entwined more than all others, that is it which is likely to be God's rival, and of that we must be deprived. Yet if when it goes, we humbly resign it up into God's hands, it is not unusual for Him to restore it to US, and that with more than double interest.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the famine was sore in the land.