Archive for July 7th, 2011

Genesis 33

Genesis 33 begins with “Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him”.  Oh boy, that deceitfulness of his youth is coming back to haunt him – at least that is what Jacob is afraid is coming.  After all Jacob had snookered Esau out of his birthright and his father’s blessing – so when Jacob had left it wasn’t on the best of terms.  So as Jacob sees his life ending in his mind – he positions his servants, wives and children in the order he was willing to sacrifice them. 

But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept”.  Not exactly the response that Jacob was expecting.  But Esau was glad to see Jacob and his massive family.  He can hardly believe just how blessed that Jacob has been while away.  Jacob offers to give Esau a gift – but Esau attempts to turn him down.  But Jacob insists: “For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. Please accept my blessing that is brought to you”.  Jacob wants to make sure Esau truly is ok with things and urges Esau to take his gift.  Esau gives in and accepts it.

Esau wants to lead Jacob and all that is his back home.  Jacob knows they can’t move as quickly as Esau and his 400 men – so he asks “Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children”.  Probably a little concern about Esau’s motives to be so helpful, along with the reality that there was no way to go quickly with all the livestock and kids.  So they decide to do it Jacob’s way – Esau and his men head back and Jacob and his troops move slowly toward their homeland.  Along the way they stop and “he erected an altar” to worship God and His faithfulness.  Definitely a better homecoming and meeting with his estranged brother than Jacob had envisioned when he saw him coming!

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