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.
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)
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.
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
2) He had been told that he had power with God and with
5. Joy prevailed in a blessed reunion of brothers who had
nothing in common before.
II. The conversation (vv. 5-15)
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
3. A question then of the gifts that had been sent before (vv.
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
Jacob pleaded the difficulty of traveling with children and flocks
Esau wanted to leave some of his men with Jacob to help
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)
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