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 September 21, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Joel
Audio: Joel

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
(Genesis 28:15 ESV)

Genesis 32 (ESV)

Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”

13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’” 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.

22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.

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Next: Genesis 33

Back: Genesis 31

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed. Genesis 32:28

    Hip Hip Hooray!

    Jacob had reason to be fearful of returning to the land of Canaan (Genesis 31:18) even though the Lord said he would be with him (Genesis 31:3). Jacob has just been chased down and confronted by Laban, had great wealth and was going back to where his brother Esau would be. 

    It's interesting that Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to Esau his brother while he stayed back. He had good reason. Back in Genesis 27:36, Esau said, "For he [Jacob] has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing." In Genesis 27:41 we read, "Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, 'The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.'" Jacob knew how his brother felt because Rebekah, his mother, told him and was the one who instructed him to leave and go to her brother Laban.

    When Jacob's messengers returned to Jacob and told him that Esau was coming to meet him (with four hundred men), he was greatly afraid and distressed. In fear of being attacked, he splits everyone up into two camps hoping that one of the camps would survive (Genesis 32:7-8).

    Then in Genesis 32:10, Jacob turns to God in humility and says, "I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant" and also in faith, "Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children" (Genesis 32:11). 

    Not only does Jacob see himself as unworthy of God's love and faithfulness, he also knows God has the power to deliver him. He even "reminds God" that He said, "I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude" (Genesis 32:12). 

    The chapter continues with Jacob making "presents" for Esau, planning how to approach him, instructing his group what to say when they see him, hoping the gifts appease him and save their lives, sending them off to meet Easu and now Jacob, alone, wrestles with God and doesn't let go until God blesses him. 

    With a new name (Israel) and a new limp, Jacob passes Penuel to meet Esau.

    In All the Books and Chapters of the Bible, Herbert Lockyer writes, "Jacob's contract with angels here and at other times (Genesis 28:12; Genesis 31:11), brings us to the question of their ministry, so prominent in Scripture. What we are apt to forget is the fact that angels are the servants o saints, as well as God (see Psalm 43:7; Daniel 6:22; Hebrews 1:14; 1 Peter 1:12). Jacob saw two hosts, as Mahanaim means. One camp was made up of his wives, children and helpless self; the other, the angelic bodyguard, to safeguard him as he journeyed on. "Vision," said Swift, "is the art of seeing the invisible." Is ours the eye of faith, able to see the great and glorious host surrounding us? Do we endure as seeing Him, who is invisible? Features of what happened at the brook are not hard to trace. Jacob sought solitude, and while in prayer the Wrestler appeared. In his struggle Jacob revealed one of his most prominent traits, namely, persistence. He persisted in resisting, until his thigh was touched, then persisted in clinging until blessing was bestowed. After confession and blessing, name and character where changed, and Jacob, thereafter, became a different man."

  2. Wow! I was astonished at the gift Jacob was sending ahead to his brother,  and I'm anxious to see if Esau is appeased! 

    Any time I hear of siblings not speaking to one another, fighting or disowning, my heart breaks for them. I don't want to even imagine what life would be like without Jen-Jen! 

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