Genesis 32 (NIV) Selected Verses
5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”
6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”
Jacob had acquired a lot of wealth through his usual tricks while he was in Haran with his uncle Laban. Jacob was, as his name indicated, a deceiver. He tricked Esau twice. First, he tricked him out of his birthright as firstborn and then, he posed as Esau to steal his father’s blessing. Esau threatened revenge by killing Jacob. It was not a pretty picture. Here we see Jacob trying to placate Esau upon Jacob’s return to Canaan. He sends messengers ahead to test the waters or rather, the level of Esau’s anger. It seems Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men. It was not looking good for Jacob. Not only was he a deceiver but he was also a coward. He sent the women and children ahead and he followed behind. He was the last to cross the Jordan River into Canaan. He spent the night by himself on the east side of the Jordan river and met an interesting person. The Angel of the Lord wrestled with him that night.
By all rights, Esau would have been justified retaining his anger toward Jacob. Jacob was a bad man! He was a liar and a cheater and a coward. And from him, God created a nation called His Chosen people. Here is proof that God can bring good out of bad! In spite of all the bad things he had done, Jacob still relied on the promises of God. He was bold. As we will see, God kept the promise he made to Abraham, to Isaac and now, to Jacob! God even reminded them of the Promise.
It is incredible what the Lord our God can do even with poor quality material. God took Jacob and refined him into Israel. You see, when God changes you, He changes you completely from the inside out. 28 Then the man [the Angel of the Lord] said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” I did say Jacob was bold. Now, he has wrestled with God and prevailed. He said he would not let go until the man blessed him. The angel blessed him there. The Children of Israel (Jacob) became the nation that God used to reveal Himself to the entire world. What can He do with you if you will let Him? Can you be a blessing to the whole world too? Why not follow God and see?
Lord, do a mighty work in us too as You have done in the past. Teach us to walk in Your ways so we may bring glory to You. Change us into the image of your Son. In Jesus name we pray.