In almost every action movie, the hero is placed in a position where the plot crisis is to either surrender and comply with the villain, or lose the life of someone dear to the hero. As Jacob was traveling home to Canaan, he sent a message to his brother Esau announcing his return, after 20 years. He was met with the response that his brother and 400 men were coming to meet him. Jacob was pretty sure the 400 were not a mariachi band to celebrate his return. So he was faced with a difficult decision–turn and run or face his brother.
Jacob divided his group into two factions and prepared to meet his brother and accept the consequence of his earlier deceit–but keep his wives and children safe, in a completely different group. What an amazing change from the young deceiver that stole the birthright and blessing–to a selfless husband, father and leader willing to sacrifice himself and all he owned to save his family–a true superhero! Jacob had no idea that the years of chasing sheep and goats would prepare him to shepherd his family and ultimately the nation of God’s people.
It is the same with us. We each travel through life and our path takes interesting twists and turns. Hills and valleys; victories and defeats, all honing and sculpting us into an image of Christ. It is a process that takes a lifetime, but the end is, like in Jacob’s case, a different person than the follower of our youth. The trick is, however, to allow the refining that God does to make you better–NOT bitter. If we become bitter and withdraw, then, the enemy wins the spiritual battle, and we and our legacy never experience the victory and blessing his spirit can bring. Allow God to work; and compile the work he does into an amazing legacy.
God Bless You
Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. 5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”
6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”
7 In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. 8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.”
9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”