A Lesson in Humility!
Jacob goes on his way.
• Gen 32:1-2 1 So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
Jacob was now returning home to Canaan and was met by the angels of God. This may have been in celebration of Jacob’s return home, but also for comfort and protection as Jacob will now be confronting his brother Esau.
Jacob cried out to the Lord and God’s angels ministered to him and encamped around Jacob and his family.. It’s possible that the angels instructed Jacob on what to do next in regards to his brother Esau. Jacob sent messengers yo Esau
. Jacob was not boasting in what he was telling Esau, but rather he was seeking Esau’s permission to return home.
• Gen 32:6-8 6 Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7 So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies. 8 And he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other company which is left will escape.”
The messengers never made it to Esau at this time. They came running back telling Jacob that Esau was coming with 400 men. At this point Jacob was afraid and in this fear he makes a plan to divide his family into two groups. Just in case Esau attacked one half then the other would possibly escape and live. After Jacob makes his plans, he finally does the right thing; he seeks God.
• Gen 32:9-12 9 Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: 10 “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. 11 “Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. 12 “For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”
God this was your idea. You said you would be with my family and me. I need Your protection and guidance. Please deliver me from my brother who sought to kill me 20 years ago. You promised to make my descendants and the sand of the sea.
Jacob knew that the only way he could make it through all of this was by the mighty hand of God.
We often get into situations where there is nowhere to turn but to God. We know that there is no way out except for God’s hand to be upon the situation.
God does deliver His children in His way. It may not always seem like the right way, but God knows what He’s doing!
Was Jacob trying to buy Esau’s forgiveness? I don’t think so.
Jacob was humbling himself before Esau by calling him lord and Jacob referred to himself as Esau’s servant.
After 20 years of separation between the twin brothers, this was a good will offering to Esau. This was an offering to reconcile himself with his brother Esau, Jacob was hoping that Esau would forgive him and accept him into the family again and as his brother.
Too often we must humble ourselves before others and God to receive all that God has for us!