Genesis 32 The
9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ 10 I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! 11 O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. 12 But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’”
11 O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. 12 But you promised me,
It’s been 20 years but obviously Jacob has not forgotten how serious was the deceit against his brother and how angry Esau was. To give him credit, he’s praying and preparing for whatever may happen as he heads home. This is the first time I’ve realized that the stealing of Esau’s blessing had absolutely no benefit for Jacob immediately as he flees from his family to safety…”When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick…” His fleeing was the result of his own rebellion and fear.
Laban, Leah, Rachel…and all those twists and turns in those relationships and unfair treatment in those 20 years were certainly God showing Jacob firsthand what it was like to be deceived and lied to. Now he’s dealing with his own guilt over his treatment of his brother and his fears of facing him again. Through all these years God has been patiently teaching and preparing Jacob to desire and recognize forgiveness and redemption.
I think that’s exactly what our life on earth really is…God giving us time. Our lives are our time to grow. The gift of time to learn to be brave enough to come face-to-face with our flaws, our fears and the reality of God’s promises to us.