by Rev Joel Yong
And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
I wonder what Esau thought, when he prepped his 400 strong contingent.
Were they armed? Or was it just a massive welcoming party?
The general view was that, in payment for what Jacob had done years ago, Esau planned to hurt him.
This is, after all, how Esau and Jacob last parted ways.
Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
When someone hurts you, particularly someone close to you, the cut goes deep.
It can take a long time, and even years later, the memory of the incident brings deep-seated pain.
But Jacob thought up a plan, to try to placate Esau.
He put himself in a humbled position, like a servant, whilst addressing Esau as a lord, in his messages sent via his servants.
He gave lots of gifts, sending them ahead of him, to Esau.
Jacob, was in essence, making restitution for all he had ‘stolen’ from Esau previously, when he took the blessing of the firstborn from their blind father, Isaac.
What about you?
Who have you wronged and in what way?
What would attempts at making restitution look like?
Remember, Jacob’s attempts addressed the loss which was inflicted on Esau.
It’s the beginning of peacemaking efforts.
But mind you, it also depends on whether the other party accepts.
He did not know how Esau would respond, so he divided his family into groups, hoping that if Esau attacked, at least 1 group may survive.
So if the other party does not accept, take heart at least you tried. The key word here is TRY …
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.