Sunday 6 December, 2015

Genesis 32:3-12

3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau. Esau lived in the land of Seir. It was also called the country of Edom. 4 Jacob told the messengers what to do. He said, “Here’s what you must tell my master Esau. ‘Your servant Jacob says, “I’ve been staying with Laban. I’ve remained there until now. 5 I have cattle and donkeys and sheep and goats. I also have male and female servants. Now I’m sending this message to you. I hope I can please you.” ’ ” 6 The messengers came back to Jacob. They said, “We went to your brother Esau. He’s coming now to meet you. He has 400 men with him.” 7 Jacob was very worried and afraid. So he separated the people with him into two groups. He also separated the flocks and herds and camels. 8 He thought, “Esau might come and attack one group. If he does, the group that’s left can escape.” 9 Then Jacob prayed, “You are the God of my grandfather Abraham. You are the God of my father Isaac. Lord, you are the one who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives. Then I will give you success.’ 10 You have been very kind and faithful to me. But I’m not worthy of any of this. When I crossed this Jordan River, all I had was my walking stick. But now I’ve become two camps. 11 Please save me from the hand of my brother Esau. I’m afraid he’ll come and attack me and the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely give you success. I will make your children as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. People will not be able to count them.’ ”

Unresolved differences can play out even years, decades later!

Time heals I hear people say – but it is not true – time dulls!!!  Yet when confronted with the unresolved we soon see in technicolour again!!

Jacob has been successful, ridiculously successful, yet in returning to his homeland, even with the clarity of a promise from God, he is undone, fearful, terrified by the thought of meeting his brother again after he fled earlier, having stolen Esau’s birthright.  Esau had vowed to kill Jacob so there were grounds for fear – yet there was the promise of God!

In the face of fear we can forget what God has promised.  We can forget God’s truth in the face of contrary facts.  What do you revert to in difficult circumstances, God and His unfailing love and promises or your senses, fears and partial knowledge?  Does God’s Word speak loudly to you?

Jacob was fearful, even thought he knew God’s promise.

Father – help all of us to rely more on your Truth than our senses, walking by faith and not by sight!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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