E100 Reading 10 – True Reconciliation Genesis 32,33

Genesis 32Genesis 33

Prayer: Lord you accept me for who

I am, I worship and praise You today. Please teach me the things I need to

learn to get me through my life on earth. Amen

Through Jacobs life so far we can see that he had many supernatural encounters with God. He must have had a deep relationship with God and talked and walked with Him daily, even though he wasn’t perfect, but also his recognition of places he came across where he had an encounter with God. Like where he rested his head on the rock in the previous chapters and had an experience with God and called that place “Bethel” – which means the house of God and in Genesis 32:1-3 he has another encounter with God and says “This is the camp of God” and calls it Mahanaim, which refers to the camp of God., and also Jacob’s realization that the place was “God’s camp”, led him to name the place Mahanaim – Two Camps, or Two Companies, to memorialize the occasion of his own company sharing the place with God’s. (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahanaim).

We know that Jacob deceived Esau of his inheritance and after a period of time from being away, Jacob sends a peace offering in which Esau comes to meet Jacob with 400 men. Interesting that even though Esau inherited nothing, the time in which Jacob was in hiding from his brother, Esau had gathered at least 400 men/soldiers. Esau still had influence in the community in which he lived and also had favour with God. It must have been a few years because Jacob also had accumulated enough possessions and workers that he was able to divide his possessions up into two in case one part was destroyed. So he still had enough left to survive if one part was destroyed, how many of us can say that we have enough of everything that we could split it in two just in case of an emergency one day? Not many I should thing. But he also did this so the part that wasn’t destroyed would be able to escape (Genesis 32:7-8).

Jacob seemed to fear the strength of his older brother, as he prays and pleads with God, that God will have mercy on him and reminds God of his promise to make is descendants like the sand of the sea, which can not be counted (Genesis 32:9-12). I think Jacobs gift to his brother seemed a bit of an overkill (Genesis 32:13-15). Its says he selected a gift for his brother, in this case a gift, meaning one was an understandment.

The next few verses really blow my mind. Jacob sends all his possessions across the river and then he is left alone, a man, which is unknown at this stage, starts wrestling with Jacob and they wrestle all night. But the man realises that he can not overpower him. Jacob must have been pretty strong. And another thing that I find interesting is that he so strongly fears his brother, but here he is wrestling with a stranger in the dark, by himself. It gets closer to day break and the man asks Jacob to let him go because it will be light soon. Maybe in the dark the man’s identity will be kept a secret and is unknown and if the sun comes up Jacob would know who he is wrestling.

Jacob says “I will not let you go untill you bless me” maybe at this stage Jacob starts to figure out who he is wrestling with, God, and starts pleading with Him. God changes Jacobs name to Israel. He changes Jacobs name because he says that Jacob has “Struggled with God and with men and have overcome” (Genesis 32.28). Jacob saw God face to face and he was spared (Genesis 32:20).

So to cut a long story short, Esau and Jacob meet up, Esau forgives his brother, even offers Jacob solders to protect him on his journey to Seir to meet up. This is true reconciliation.

Sometimes guilt motivates us to do bad things – like lying or covering up the truth, Jacob feels guilty for stealing Esau’s inheritance so he tries to send before him a gift, a peace offering to make up for his mistake – in this instance guilt motivated Jacob to do a good thing. Jacob also may have been giving this offering to save his onw skin and not for true reconciliation (Genesis 32:13-21).

What is true reconciliation? – it involves a true change of heart and to admit sin and to not rationalise the situation or we may remain trapped by our guilt and sin.

We see that it was Esau who was after true reconciliation, he had become a content man (Genesis 33:9). God can reconcile the most broken relationships in our life and for Him to do this we must let Him do it His way, and be willing to change. A genuine experience with God can change and impact our lives where life can make us feel guilty, bitter or angry, and this experience with God can change all that.

Are you asking good to change a difficult situation in your life? or are you asking God to use the circumstances to change you?

Prayer: Thank you Father for loving me, showing me mercy and accepting me with open arms, please help me to show these same characteristics to people who frustrate me and irritate me. Amen

~ by deepercriesout on May 9, 2012.

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