After parting company with his uncle Laban, Jacob continued on his journey toward his homeland and was met by the angels of God ; because of this incident, and the previous, he named the place ”Mahanaim” or “Two Camps”. Two camps had just met in hostility and separated in peace; and yet two camps were about to meet (Jacob thought in hostility) and separate in peace. God’s host had come to escort him safely to Canaan, yet he feared meeting with Esau. (NIV study Bible).
So Jacob sends messengers to his brother in order to ”find favour” with Esau “In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well.”
In spite of God’s assured presence Jacob was still afraid. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”
Although God is present with us and guides us, we must still do our part – act wisely. “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” “For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.”
After doing all that he could in the discretion given him by God, Jacob spends time in prayer. “Then Jacob prayed, … 0 LORD, who said to me, ‘Go back to your country …. I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant….But you have said” Here, Jacob’s faith in his God is expressed [FAITH: (trust) – Lord I believe, I trust you.] <cf2 Kings 18:5-6; Job 13:15; Psa 56:3; Isa 12:2; 2 Tim.1:12>.
The next morning he selects a gift “from what he had” for his brother Esau, hoping to ”pacify him” . Jacob sends the gift on ahead in the care of his servants.
JACOB PREPARES TO FACE HIS GREATEST DIFFICULTY
One of the greatest difficulties we can face is to seek to regain the fellowship of one that we have wronged. Although Jacob knew, and it was confirmed by God on more than one occasion, that he was chosen instead of his brother Esau; yet he knew that the method used to obtain the blessing was deceitful. He was aware of the anger of his brother toward him, and needed to set things straight. It is imperative that “brethren dwell together in unity” otherwise God’s blessings cannot be enjoyed; thus Jacob had to do what was required. “So Jacob was left alone,” <Gen 32:24 NIV; see Psa.55:1-2, 4-7, 11-14, 16-17, 19-20, 22-23>.
JACOB IS RECONCILED TO ESAU
We will never know what would have been the result had not Jacob spent the night in prayer prior to his meeting with Esau the next day. It is a great blessing when believers, who have been kept apart by “hard feelings”, can be reconciled to each other; and we should bear in mind that this is only possible through the love and grace of God that has been imparted to us. Let us ever seek to be led by His love and grace.
We should also note very carefully the manner in which Esau met his brother Jacob. Esau could have been very demanding, considering the way Jacob had wronged him, and taken more than what Jacob had presented to Him. But note his words to Jacob; this could only be the work of God in Esau’s heart due to Jacob’s prayer. “Esau asked, “What do you mean by all these droves I met?” “To find favour in your eyes, my lord,” he said. But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.” “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favour in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favourably. Please accept the present that was brought to you, ….. And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.”
JACOB’S TESTIMONY TO GOD’S GRACIOUSNESS: “for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need” God had made a promise to Jacob to be with him and to bless him and to bring him back to his homeland; and God had been faithful to His promise.
Throughout the ages many have prospered and have accumulated great wealth, some have boasted in their ability to have accomplished what they did, while others have recognized God’s blessings upon themselves. But God has revealed to us through His word the secret of His blessings. ” the LORD was with him and …. gave him success in everything he did” .
All these promises of God are applicable to us today provided we meet God’s requirements which remain the same.