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Jacob – Genesis 33:1–20

Sunday, February 26: Jacob

Genesis 33:1–20

Jacob is on his way home. Twenty years before, he defrauded his brother and was forced to run for his life to escape his wrath. Esau, in fact, had promised to kill him. Esau is a big, strong, hairy guy with bow hunting skills. To make matters worse, Jacob has every reason to believe the acid of resentment and bitterness has been eating away at his brother’s soul for all that time.

But now Jacob is on his way home and the two brothers are about to meet for the first time in two decades. He looks up and sees the brother who had threatened to kill him plus four hundred of his hunting buddies on the horizon. He comes forward bowing low, hoping that at least his family might be spared, when Esau suddenly starts running towards him.

What’s Jacob thinking at that moment? He’s thanking God that Esau’s a good hunter and knows how to dispatch his kills quickly. He wonders if he will die by an arrow in the heart or a knife to the throat. In other words, Jacob’s not wondering if he’s going to die, but how.

What happens next, to both Jacob’s surprise and ours, is one of the most touching and instructive scenes in Scripture. See you on Sunday.