“Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children.”
After making a peace covenant with Laban, Jacob and his family continued toward Jacob’s homeland. Jacob knew the greatest danger facing him at home. The last time Jacob was in this land, Esau was plotting to murder him (Genesis 27:41). Jacob knew he had to use wisdom in order to safely return home and to protect his family from a potential violent response by Esau.
Jacob first sent emissaries to the land to communicate his coming and to try to gauge Esau’s intended response (Genesis 32:3). The news Jacob received was distressing: Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men! In Jacob’s mind, this was a small army led by Esau with the potential intent to massacre Jacob, his family and servants. Instead of preparing a defensive force to possibly do battle with Esau, Jacob turned to God in prayer for protection (verses 9-12).
When we face potential difficulties in our lives, this also needs to be the first thing we do. When a worst-case scenario seems imminent, our first reaction should be to get on our knees and ask for God’s help—claiming His promises of protection. No matter what the circumstance we face, we should remember there is nothing too hard for God to deal with (Jeremiah 32:27).
After prayer, the next thing Jacob did was send gifts to Esau. It seems Jacob was making a peace offering to Esau—in effect saying, “I know I’ve wronged you and I want to make it right.”
To learn more about what God promises to us, read “God’s Promises.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “A Supernatural Wrestling Match.”