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Pastor Brant Seacrist

OCTOBER 18, 2020


TEXT: GENESIS 33: 1-20

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SUBJ: The meeting of Jacob with Esau and that which Jacob experienced of the providential workings of God and the evidence of faith and graciousness in the actions of Jacob.

AIM: That we might be the more encouraged to wait upon the Lord and to see His salvation as we act in obedience to that which we know in Him.

INTR: It is probable that Jacob had spent much time in dread of the day that was upon him which dread was because of his past actions and deceptions.
1. He had probably remembered anew the threats that had been made against his life and would now carry on to his family.
2. There seemed to be a great sense of vulnerability as to his position - there had been no mention of armed forces being with him.
3. So, we find him balancing promises against the reality that was approaching him in the person of an angry brother.

THESIS: While we look to and often witness the ability of God to prevail in our behalf, it still behooves us to act in humility toward God and man, but we are to act.

I. The meeting (vv. 1-4)
1. The look of expectation and anticipation. It is suggested that Jacob's attitude here was one of confidence and peace. It is to be remembered the ordeal that he had just had with the Lord.
2. It is interesting to note the order in which Jacob placed the family with the mothers and their children seemingly in the order of his preferences.
3. His approach to Esau might cause us to wonder at such actions in that he was the possessor of the birthright but
1) His actions were those of common courtesy and may well have expressed a desire for reconciliation.
2) Esau was the elder and was a powerful man in his own right and had an entourage to prove it.
4. The unexpected reception (at least by us) as Esau ran to greet his brother with a display of genuine affection
1) Had Esau had a change of heart or had God changed his heart temporarily.
2) He had been told that he had power with God and with men.
5. Joy prevailed in a blessed reunion of brothers who had nothing in common before.

II. The conversation (vv. 5-15)
1. What followed was what seemed to be a normal course of introduction and conversation (vv. 5-7)
1) What were nieces and nephews to Esau, were the seeds of promise to Jacob
2) He acknowledged the hand of the Lord and Esau never did.
2. They came in order and payed due respect to Esau
3. A question then of the gifts that had been sent before (vv. 8-10)
1) The purpose was understood and declared - it had been told to Esau, but he would hear it at the mouth of Jacob.
2) Esau on the other hand proudly asserted that "I have enough" and was not in need of any help from Jacob.
4. Jacob had seen something far more important here. He wanted a further confirmation and that would come with Esau'ss acceptance of the gift - Jacob genuinely wanted to do it.
1) He was witnessing the work of grace in that the whole countenance of Esau towards Jacob had changed and Jacob saw the work of God in it - He was face to face with the Lord working.
2) He literally marveled at the fact that Esau was pleased with him and so
3) He needed that the blessing that had come to him be shared with his brother and he had enough as well. And he took it on those terms
5. A proposition rejected (vv. 12ff)
1) Esau proposed that they travel together
2) Jacob pleaded the difficulty of traveling with children and flocks
3) Esau wanted to leave some of his men with Jacob to help
4) Jacob again declined
6. At this point we would conclude that the change in Esau was not permanent and Jacob sensed it and would remain rather dependent on the Lord.

III. The separation (vv. 16-20)
1. Esau to Mount Seir which would be a stronghold taken down in time to come because of their hatred for the Lord's people and
2. Jacob to Succoth and then on to Shalem where a bad time awaited - he was not back to Bethel.