Brotherly Love

And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. Genesis 33:4

Well its been 14 years since Jacob had seen Esau, and last time they saw each other Esau wanted Jacob dead. But its not all on Esau, Jacob deceived his father from giving his brother the blessing. But Esau out of recklessness sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. So both brothers are at fault here and made mistakes

We can learn from this in our own relationships. Are we feuding with family members , friends, or coworkers? Often times when we examine the situation everyone is at fault. Sometimes it takes one person to be the bigger person and propose peace

Well as it says “Time heals all wounds”, Esau and Jacob forgot about the past and were excited to see one another again. They both met new family members they didn’t know existed. Jacob was so happy this rivalry was resolved he said it was as if “he saw the face of God” (Genesis 33:10)

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Romans 12:10

The brotherly love demonstrated between Jacob and Esau was pleasant to see and I’m sure it pleased God. Jesus taught us to love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34) This is a great message not only for families but also the Church

Let “Brotherly” Love continue between us all in Jesus name Amen!

Wrestling With God

And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. Genesis 32:1

This is a very interesting Chapter and it starts out with a bang. Jacob and his family have now just split from his father in Law Laban and they are headed back to Canaan , his homeland. The only problem is he would be running into his brother Esau on his journey home. If we remember Jacob stole Esau’s birthright from their father, and last Jacob knew Esau declared to kill him

So notice God sent a group of Angels (Messengers of Elohim) to comfort and strengthen Jacob. Remember after Jesus struggle in the wilderness with Satan was over, Angels were sent to comfort him also.  Angels are all around us and God will send them to you in times of trouble! (Psalm 91:11)

Jacob though about fleeing as he found out Esau was on his way to meet Jacob. However Jacob remembered Gods promise that he will make him prosper (Genesis 32:9) However Jacob sent away his family to hide and was alone with God (Genesis 32:21)

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day Genesis 32:24

Jacob describes a man wrestled with him until daybreak. Now this is important to understand, because later Jacob states “I have seen God face to face and yet my life was spared” (Genesis 32:30) How can Jacob have seen God yet wrestled with a man?  Jacob was wrestling with Jesus Christ himself

And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Genesis 32:28

Jesus changed Jacobs name to Israel because he struggled with God. This is the beginning of the birth of the nation of Israel. Are you wrestling with God today? Don’t give up, keep seeking, keep knocking, and he will bless you Amen!

Jacob Returns Home

And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee. Genesis 31:3

The time has come for Jacob to return to his homeland with his entire family. God commanded Jacob to return, but this was going to cause strife with his father in law Laban. Jacob was afraid to tell Laban they were leaving, in fear that he would take his daughters (Leah and Rachel) back.

And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s. Genesis 31:19

Now before they left, Rachel did something strange, she stole idols/images from her Father. Why did she do this? Maybe sentimental value? Maybe to sell them? However we see that Laban was a pagan. He was worshipping false gods. This is important to remember, that Abraham was raised a pagan. Then one day the true Living God called him out and to be set apart from the world

This is the same for us, when we get saved God is calling us out from this world of idols to be set apart body of believers

And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. Genesis 31:24

Once Laban realized Jacob and his family had left, he pursued after them. But God came to him in a dream and told him not to say anything good or bad. What does this mean? We’ll find out later in the story

It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. Genesis 31:29

Laban was seeking to get revenge on Jacob, however he remembered that warning God gave him about Jacob. Laban listened to Gods warning and eventually made a peace treaty with Jacob

Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight. Genesis 31:42

Jacob affirms the only reason Laban hasn’t killed him is because God is watching over him. Then Laban and Jacob made a covenant and they went peacefully on their way headed to Canaan

This will be the beginning of the nation of Israel

Desperate Housewives

And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. Genesis 30:1

Chapter 30 is completely full of drama and more drama. As stated before, God never ordained polygamy. As God said the covenant of marriage is between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24) Anytime we see polygamy practiced in the Bible it’s a complete train wreck and this is not different

Leah and Rachel have a rivalry between each other because they are both married to Jacob. Leah so far had 4 sons while Rachel has not being able to conceive. This has caused great hardship for Rachel even though she was the favorite of Jacob

And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. Genesis 30:3

So the dysfunctional family gets even more dysfunctional as Rachel gives up trying to conceive and tells Jacob to marry her servant Bilhah and have children with her. Bilhah ends up having 2 sons with Jacob, Dan and Nephatali

When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. Genesis 30:9

By this time Leah stopped having children,  being jealous of Rachel, she told Jacob to take her servant Zilpah as his wife also. She had two more sons for Jacob names Gad and Asher

And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son. And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar. And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah. Genesis 30:17-21

So after all this Leah conceives again 3 times, she has 2 more sons (Issachar, Zebulun) and 1 daughter (Dinah)

And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son. Genesis 30:23-24

Now Rachel finally conceived and this would be Joseph. And as we are going to learn as we go along Joseph becomes an important figure as he is a foreshadow of Christ to come

And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country. Genesis 30:25

So the final event in this very eventful chapter is Jacob then asks his father in law Laban if they can all leave and go back to his home country. So Jacob and his 4 wives and 13 children with all their possessions and animals begin the journey back to Canaan where Jacob grew up