Genesis Lesson 21 Day 2
Jacob prepares to encounter Esau.
3a) The Lord sent angels to meet Jacob.
The angels of God met [revealed themselves to] Jacob as he was on his way back to Canaan. This must have encouraged Jacob to know he wasn’t alone. He never was alone, but his guilt and fear likely outweighed his trust in God.
Our Mahanaims occur at much the same time as that in which Jacob beheld this great sight. Jacob was entering upon a more separated life. He was leaving Laban and the school of all those tricks of bargaining and bartering which belong to the ungodly world. (Spurgeon)
Examples of how God defends His chosen servants.
The Lord revealed the enemies’ plans to Elisha. He also blinded the enemies’ eyes and surrounded their armies with chariots of fire. He led them into their enemies’ camp then fed them a great feast and sent them home. The outcome: The Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel. (2 Kings 6:8-23)
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)
My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm. (Daniel 6:22)
“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
“Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
b) Jacob was afraid to meet his brother Esau.
Esau was a skillful hunter and Isaac’s favorite. Jacob was quiet and preferred to stay close to home—Rebekah’s favorite. (Genesis 25:27-28)
Jacob took advantage of Esau’s exhaustion and hunger by saying he would sell him a bowl of lentil stew for his birthright, then made him swear to it. (Genesis 25:29-34)
Jacob deceived Isaac by disguising himself as Esau and lied to him to get the blessing he intended for Esau. (Genesis 27:35-40)
Isaac’s blessing/prophecy about Esau said, “By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother, but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.” (Genesis 27:40
Esau hated Jacob because he stole his blessing. He swore to kill Jacob after Isaac passed away. (Genesis 27:41)
4a) Jacob prepares to meet Esau.
Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to Esau to deliver the following message to Esau:
He humbled himself by beginning with,
Thus says your servant Jacob,
I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now.
I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants.
I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight. (Genesis 32:4-5)
Jacob wasn’t boasting. He wanted Esau to know that he was a man of wealth and that he did not come to take anything from Esau. Jacob tried to anticipate his brother’s thinking and to answer Esau’s concerns.1
They brought back a report saying Esau is coming to meet you, and he has four hundred men with him. Jacob assumed the worst and was terrified. He divided his people, flocks, herds and camels into two camps, thinking the men won’t attack both groups.
b) Characteristics about Jacob revealed
Humility: He isn’t coming to enforce Isaac’s blessing which said of Esau, “you shall serve your bother.”
Guilt and fear: Jacob knows he cheated Esau and he has a good reason to be angry.
Inexperienced: Esau is a superior warrior with mature sons who are likely good warriors, too.
Inferior army: Jacob’s sons are younger and inexperienced with weapons and battle.
Protective and wise: Dividing his people and animals into two groups was a wise move.
Most of our decisions aren’t simple.
Right or wrong is sometimes obvious, but often it’s not.
Like moving to another state, or staying put.
We need direction and confirmation from the Lord. Jacob certainly had that, but still dealt with fear and uncertainty.
b) Here is a good list of verses and below is a favorite or two—
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)
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1 EnduringWord.com used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
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