Jacob: a new brother…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Genesis 32:1-35:15

Focus: Genesis 32:1-12

There is hope! For all of us siblings who grew up fighting and arguing, there is hope! What would seem one of the most difficult situations to reconcile, we find that age and maturity changes things. The story of Jacob and Esau is one that certainly shows that there is opportunity for reconciliation. Even after Jacob deceived Esau into selling his birthright, then to go and steal Esau’s blessing… you’d think they’d be a bloody feud breakout when the two brothers met once again. Instead, we find a joyful, maybe a little awkward situation for Jacob, reception from Esau.

What happened in those 20 odd years while Jacob was away? Who knows? Esau must have benefited from the wealth of his father, Isaac, and likely to have inherited it also. We don’t have recorded the death of their mother, Rebekah, but one can assume that during that time Rebekah passed away. Further, Esau has grown his own family having three wives and five sons of his own by them. Be it through Isaac and Rebekah or life’s experiences, Esau seemed to have reconciled his struggles with Jacob and matured. As with Jacob, Esau eventually became a nation in his own right.

In short, Jacob returned to a, essentially, new brother. Though it was not without great effort and I don’t mean in the gifts which he presented to Esau. Rather, the prayers and attitude that Jacob had as he dealt with this entire affair. We see Jacob recounting God’s promise. The reality is that Jacob had nothing to offer to subdue the potential rage of his brother (as is seen in the passage, Jacob thought Esau was about to declare war)! However, having continued to remain faithful to God, nothing short of God’s work in Esau’s life over those 20 years Jacob was away could have brought about the joyous and peaceful reunion of two brothers.

When we dedicate and commit our relationships before the throne of God it utterly changes the dynamics of how life plays out. It is a challenging that we should evaluate our relationships, where do we lack faithfulness and commitment to offer those up to God in prayer, what relationships lack godliness and righteousness, the list goes on. God did not intend for us to have broken families, broken marriages, broken friendships… rather, He created us for fruitful relationships that would bless those around us, because He has blessed us.

Next Reading: Genesis 35:16-38:30