Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)
TITLE: The Dreaded Reunion
By Esther Phillips
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Years went by and Jacob prepared to go back to his own country. His Uncle Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Jacob gathered up his family and all their belongings and went on his way.
Jacob dreaded the meeting with his brother, Esau, even after all these years of being apart. They had parted as bitter enemies. He thought, “How could Esau forgive me?”
Jacob decided to send messengers ahead of him and his caravan. He gave them instructions to tell Esau “This is what you are to say to my master Esau, ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”(Genesis 32:4-5, NIV)
The messengers came back saying that Esau was on his way to meet them with 400 men! Now Jacob was really afraid. He divided his large group into two groups thinking that at least one of them would survive. This was really serious.
As most people do when they are in extreme stress, Jacob prayed. He confessed his sins, thanked God that he had prospered him, and begged for protection for his two groups.
As Jacob prepared to meet this brother, he sent out groups ahead of him bearing gifts. (It never hurts to try to put your best foot forward in what may turn into a conflict.) Jacob stayed behind and that night he wrestled with an angel. Jacob was blessed that night so he named that place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet was spared.” (Gen 32:30)
The next day the reunion of Jacob and Esau took place. Scripture says “Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him.” (Gen. 33:4)
Jacob told Esau that he had prospered over these years and offered him all kinds of gifts, but Esau would take nothing. He, too, had prospered over the years. Jacob had dreaded this reunion. As it turned out, the stress leading up to it was worse than the reunion itself.
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