Genesis 32:4 – 36:43
Usually when we think of great faith we think of Abraham and his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. Jacob is another example of great faith for us to learn from.
This portion deals with Jacob returning to his homeland as YHVH commanded (from Gen 31:13). Now Jacob knows that his brother Esau (from Gen 27:41) wants to kill him. Yet he obeys YHVH’s command and prepares to meet Esau. The text says Jacob was "greatly afraid and distressed". (Gen 32:7)
Let us think for a moment, how might we act in this situation? Are we willing to obey YHVH, even at the risk of losing our own life and those we love? YHVH is gracious. How about something less dramatic. Are we willing to do the little things YHVH would have us do? Lend a helping hand, go out of our way to help others, give the best to someone else? Just as we would do with our own children; if we are not willing to obey in the little things, we will not be given bigger responsibilities.
Wisdom and Action
Jacob pondered his situation and developed a plan then carried it out. He divided his group and sent many gifts on ahead to his brother. When he finally met up with Esau, he showed high respect to his brother with his words and actions. His hope being to soften his brother’s heart, which with YHVH’s help was successful.
In this portion Jacob wrestled with a man (Gen 32:24). This we can see was no ordinary man for they wrestled all night and Jacob would not give up until he was blessed, even wrestling with his thigh out of joint. Here his name was changed to Israel.
YHVH instructs us to do His will, let us use wisdom and plan out how best to humble ourselves and serve Him. Don’t stop with good intentions and don't give up, we must have good fruit.
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