12 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.” 15 Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.” “But why do that?” Jacob asked. “Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.” 16 So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir. 17 Jacob, however, went to Sukkoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth. 18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. 20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.
Esau continues his gesture of forgiveness and reconciliation towards Jacob by asking him to come and settle at Seir with him. He even offers protection for Jacob who makes an excuse about not being able to travel together. Jacob’s trust of Esau is tested – and he seems to have deceived Esau again with deception as his fallback position.
This is the man whom God has chosen to carry on the line of blessing from Abraham, to be a foundation of his chosen people, Israel. It’s surprising but powerfully shows that God will overcome our failings. Jacob loved God and passionately desired his blessing, and recognised in the depth of his soul that the blessings he enjoyed were from God – v 5, 11 and 20.
I notice that God didn’t wait until Jacob was perfect to choose him and work his plans through him. He knew Jacob’s heart and was transforming him through humility. He didn’t wait till I was perfect before choosing me to be his child. He works out his plans through me as he is transforming me in his image. I ask myself – is my heart yearning for more of his blessing? Is my heart open to the transformation only his love can bring?
Dear God, work your transformation in my life today by your Holy Spirit. Amen
Written by Claire Moore