The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies; for he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape.” Genesis 32: 6 – 8 NASB
The sins of one’s youth…. Sometimes the consequences do not just stop with our youthful years, but they follow us even into adulthood. They become for most of us “the haunting shadows.” All around us, we tend to see one thing or the other that reminds us of the manner of men we were while young, and the notable mistakes we had made.
This was the dilemma of our Father, Jacob. When he was on his way back, he remembered that he had an unsettled business which he had left behind 20 years ago. So, he sent a ambassage to his brother Esau to let him know that he is coming back home.
Esau, at this time was a wealthy man. He had lands and properties, and unlike his father, he even had a city which he could call his own…. The city of Edom or Mountain Seir. When you look at the amount of money and wealth Esau had, you will wonder what exactly Jacob stole from him. If the blessing of Isaac was merely about physical wealth and prosperity, Esau had them too… So, what’s the difference?
The difference is simply in the fact that Jacob obtained what Esau did not obtain…. THE BLESSING OF THE LORD.
The Blessing of the Lord is a substance. It can make someone rich, but it is not in itself simply riches. It is a communication of Divine empowerment and partnership which an ordinary earthy man can never possess. So, while Esau went on ahead to obtain houses and riches; Jacob obtained something greater- THE BLESSING OF THE LORD.
When the ambassage that Jacob sent to Esau returned, they gave him news that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men. This information did not go down well with Jacob and it put some fear into him. It was there and then that it dawned on him that time does not heal things…. And this is the mistake many people make.
Time does not really heal wounds…. Time does not lessen the effect of evil in a man’s life. When we believe that time can do these things, we are arrogating to time powers it does not possess. Wounds are only healed when the wind of God’s mercy blows on them. To some, it may look like time settled it, but it was actually God who did His work. If God did not move in to help, time would have solved no problem.
When Jacob realized his predicament, he lifted up his voice and began to pray. Little by little God was cracking his man. Little by little the strong, cunning, and capable “big” man was quietly turning to a worshipper. The fires of the Almighty was moving on him, and he was already begining to melt.
At this point, we must give kudos to Jacob. He was a well known schemer, so he began to scheme. But at least, he prayed. Somehow, he had come to realize that no matter how much he schemes, the Lord must show mercy.
Jacob divided his family into droves and sent batches of gifts ahead to go and meet Esau. All these were the movements of a man who was scared and already in a fix. However, it was what happened that night that changed his life forever. Lost in his thoughts, confused at his predicaments…. In this state, he met the God of Peniel, and Jacob won (or rather he was won.) More of that in the next article