Genesis 33

Genesis 33 has the showdown between two brothers.  Jacob is coming home, and knows that brother Esau is on his way to meet him with 400 of his men in tow.  Jacob is petrified of what might happen.  “Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming”.  I can only imagine what is running through Jacob’s mind.  Is this the end?  Will today be my last day?  So Jacob “divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all”.

No question here on who was going to be sacrificed first.  If you want to see what someone’s true priorities are, see how they line up their people.  Who is at the front, and who is bringing up the rear.  Jacob was obviously focused most of all on his heritage as Rachel and Joseph were bringing up the rear.  Jacob went ahead of them all bowing himself seven times until he came near to his brother.  “Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept”. 

It was not the greeting Jacob had feared at all.  Esau welcomes him and then asks about the entourage with Jacob.  And one by one they come and meet this older brother of Jacob.  They argue about the gifts that Jacob wanted to bestow on Esau.  Jacob told him “….if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me”.  Esau finally agrees to receive them.

Esau wants Jacob and his people and flocks to move on with him and his men.  But Jacob doesn’t want to push things – the children were small and the flocks frail.  So he convinces Esau to go on ahead and return home, and he will bring his entourage as time allows.  Jacob buys some land for one hundred pieces of money and built an altar there.  His day turns out very differently than he had imagined.  God is good like that.  He often takes what might have been a bad situation and turns it to good.  We just need to trust Him!

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