I think the key word to describe this passage is ‘suspense’. Jacob is caught between God’s promise – to make him prosper and have countless descendants (32:12) – and this news he has received that Easu is coming to meet him with 400 men (32:6). I can almost hear Jacob’s mind whirring as he tries to compute, how is this going to work out? How can God’s promise come true if Easu completely annihilates his family?
Jacob’s plan is pretty cunning. He tries to woo Easu with gifts, and sends the gifts in such as way as to maximise the impact. Jacob may be outnumbered, but he is not about to be outwitted!!
What’s interesting is that Jacob has no idea how these gifts will be received. In verse 20 he says ‘perhaps he will receive me’. He’s done all he can and now Jacob has to wait and see how things will unfold…
God, from what I can see Jacob was relying on himself and somewhat hoping you would fulfil your promise. I don’t see a man at rest here. Help me to trust you in the suspense and learn how to rest in the unresolved. Amen.
Written by Ps. Bethany Waugh