Genesis 33:1-20 Reunion

Brothers by birth. Friends by choice. FORGIVENESS!

Jacob and Esau finally have their reunion. And a joyous one it is. God has fulfilled Jacob’s request and brought him back to his land “in peace.”

We don’t get to hear the story of what went on with Esau while Jacob was away but from their meeting we know God had blessed Esau too. Jacob wasn’t the only one God was looking after. Esau acquired much, including forgiveness, without his father’s special blessing.

When Esau was first brought news of Jacob’s return, he set out to meet him. He brought help with him. Esau’s heart was to bring help to assist Jacob on his journey. Jacob thought the extra hands were to punish him for how things stood when he left home. He wasn’t counting on God fulfilling his request. Read more »

Genesis 32:22-32 Tight Hold

Holding tight to for His blessings!

Jacob is still in preparation mode. He is about to encounter Esau after all these years. He is worried about that meeting and needs God’s help with it.

Some of the things Jacob did to get ready for his encounter with Esau are:

  • Divide his camp in two
  • PRAY
  • Send droves of gifts to Esau, separated by some distance between them
  • Keep his family in the rear of the procession.

In our reading today he does one more thing; he wrestles a blessing out of one of God’s angels. Read more »

Genesis 32:1-21 Appeasing Esau

Jacob went to the RIGHT place to make his appeal. God first, then Esau.

Jacob has just finished dealing with Laban and succeeded by God’s help alone. Now he faces another hurdle to returning home; his brother Esau.

God told Jacob it was time to go home. When Jacob was on his way to Laban God made a personal promise to him. “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (chapter 28 verse 15). God kept watch over Jacob and brought him straight to the land of his ancestors. He also blessed him while working for and with Laban. And we just read where He kept him safe from Laban as he is leaving that land. My favorite exchange from that encounter clearly shows where Laban’s heart was. Read more »

Genesis 31:1-55 Leaving Laban

This far and no farther. Their “season” of relationship is over.

Jacob has worked for Laban long enough! It’s time to take what is his and go home. But Laban doesn’t want to turn loose. Jacob and company have to sneak out.

Jacob’s breeding policies have left him better off than Laban but both have huge flocks. Jacob has also accumulated a lot of possessions while in this land. We were told in our last reading that Jacob “had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys” (chapter 30 verse 43). He is wealthy by the world’s standards because God has blessed him as He promised He would do. Read more »

Genesis 30:25-43 Selective Breeding

Jacob didn’t need to get even for Laban’s trick with his “wages.” God took care of the problem.

Jacob has paid his debt for both his wives and has fathered at least eleven children, ten of which were boys. He wants to go home now. But Laban wants to keep getting rich off of Jacob’s work.

The first thing that has me scratching my head here is that Jacob asks Laban to give him his wives and his children. Jacob’s debt has already been paid through his service. Laban sold his daughters and therefore should have no claim to them. And any children born to Jacob are HIS, not Laban’s. Why is he asking Laban for them? In MY mind Laban has no claim to any one of these members of Jacob’s family. Maybe it is a custom that I’m not familiar with. Read more »