Today’s passage: Genesis 32:1-32
- After twenty years, it’s time for Jacob and Esau to meet again.
- In Jacob’s prayer for protection, he appeals to the promises God made. If God was going to keep His promises, Jacob and his family would need to escape any wrath Esau may hope to inflict.
- Jacob sends gifts in waves before him to Esau, hoping the gifts and words of kindness will have a softening effect on his brother should any anger remain (The fact that 400 men were accompanying Esau made it appear that Esau was coming to battle).
- Jacob expected a fight with Esau, instead, he got one with the Lord!
- God didn’t reveal His name to Jacob when asked, but Jacob knew who it was.
- Instead of Jacob hearing the name of God, God gave Jacob a new name.
- Israel means, “He stives with God” or “God strives.”
Questions to consider:
- In what way did Jacob reintroduce himself to Esau? Who was the “lord” and who was the “servant?” How did this introduction/greeting contrast with what they both knew had already happened and with what God had decreed? What was Jacob giving Esau the opportunity to do?
- In what way did Israel strive with God (Think Jacob…and then, the nation)? How did God strive on behalf of Israel (The person and the nation)?
- In Jacob’s prayer for protection and in his amazement at survival after the wrestling match of the century (Or all the B.C. years!) what does he acknowledge about himself, what he deserves, and about God? How do these realities correlate with the gospel message? What do we deserve? What has God graciously gifted to us? How has God accomplished it?