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Esau's Army

John Collins06/09/2012
When Esau told Jacob's messengers that he was coming to meet Jacob, Jacob trembled in fear.  He placed two hundred goats and other animals in-between his camp and Esau's as a gift to try to make peace.

In Genesis 33, Esau approached the camp with an army of four hundred men.  Jacob divided the children of those of his servants from those of his wives, sending the servants and their children in front to give as another gift.  As they moved forward, Jacob ran in front of them, and bowed down to Esau.  He rose to his feet, ran in front of them, and bowed down to Esau again.  Three times he did this until he came near to his brother.

But instead of coming to kill Jacob as Esau had vowed, he embraced him and kissed his neck.  Together they wept.  

Esau lifted his eyes and asked about the servants and their children.  Jacob answered that they were a gift to find favor in his sight.  Esau did not want to take them, but Jacob insisted.

Esau offered to journey with them together, and would lead the way, but Jacob worried about the frail children and nursing flocks.  A hard drive for them would kill the animals.  Jacob told Esau to go on ahead and he would travel at the slow pace of the livestock.  Esau offered to leave some of his army with Jacob, but Jacob replied that there was no need.  

Jacob journeyed safely to Shechem in the land of Canaan and erected an altar.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  When the enemy is closing in, do we tremble in fear when God is on our side?  When the odds are stacked against us, do we fight like a cornered animal or do we offer peace?  Are we able to live peacefully with those who do not follow our ways, even when they live peacefully with us?