Rev. Dustin Beck, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, studies Genesis 32:1-21 on today’s episode. Rev. Beck talks about how Jacob is again met with angels, the “saints and archangels” that will inhabit the new creation, trusting in God’s promises, Jacob’s gifts for Esau, and what Jacob thinks is happening next versus what God has in store for him.
“In the Beginning was the Truth” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron featuring a step-by-step walk through the book of Genesis, focusing on the truth of Jesus, the story of salvation found throughout the book, and how we view our lives through the lens of God’s promises. Sharper Iron is hosted by Rev. Jonathan Fisk.
Jacob Fears Esau
32 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.[a]
3 And Jacob sent[b] messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4 instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”
6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, 8 thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”
9 And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’” 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him[c]with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”[d] 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.
- Genesis 32:2 Mahanaim means two camps
- Genesis 32:3 Or had sent
- Genesis 32:20 Hebrew appease his face
- Genesis 32:20 Hebrew he will lift my face
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.