Some days it seems like our problems are long past the point of repair. Other days it feels like the journey ahead is out of our hands. And it is, which is why we all need to lean on the One Who is paving the way. The One Who knows what tomorrow will bring. The One Who wrote it all down before we were born.
Opening my Bible to Genesis Chapter 32, I get the feeling that Jacob felt much the same way–like his problems with Esau were past the point of repair, and the journey ahead was out of his hands. To make things even worse, Jacob was told that Esau was coming his way with 400 men.
He was scared, but unlike others who might have given up and turned back, Jacob faithfully turned to the Lord. God told him to return to his homeland, and so he was doing just that.
As I study this chapter, I find there’s a lot to be learned about courage and the way that we handle our fear. And so, I hope you’ll pause along with me to look at five things that Jacob did right:
- Jacob was afraid, but even so, he was willing to follow God’s command to return home.
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. (Genesis 32:7, NIV)
- When Jacob was afraid, he turned to prayer, both expressing his feelings to the Lord, and asking God to help him.
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. (Genesis 32:11, NIV)
- Jacob trusted in the promise from God, and leaned into that promise when he needed strength.
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.’” (Genesis 32:12, NIV)
- Before asking God for a blessing, Jacob made a conscious effort to reconcile with Esau by sending a gift to him.
He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau: two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. (Genesis 32:13, NIV)
- He wrestled with God until he was blessed.
Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” (Genesis 32:26, NIV)
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Tilling the Soil
As you’re reading through Genesis Chapter 32 (in particular the verses I shared here), ask yourself how this might apply to your life and the struggles you face.
In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:6, NIV)
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About the Author
DARLENE SCHACHT is an award-winning and NYT best-selling author. She is the founder of Time-Warp Wife Ministries, an online publication that encourages women to live Christ-centered lives.
Her passion for scripture and hunger for truth is the driving force behind a unique ministry that offers Bible studies and daily marriage prayers. Darlene is joined by her husband Michael on the daily podcast “5-Minute Marriage.”
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