Genesis 32:13–21 (ESV)
Jacob Fears Esau
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.
Jacob is sending a lot of gifts to his brother to soften him up and not want to kill him. How much would he have given to Esau if he loved his brother and had a great
relationship? Listen to Jacob’s reasoning: “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” The Lutheran Study Bible writes: Faced with possible death,
Jacob turns to the Lord in prayer, then makes preparations to aid his family’s safety. His prayer is a model for ours: address God, confess who God is and what He has done, confess our unworthiness, petition Him, and remember God’s promises, which
are the basis for our prayers. God’s promise is to bless and pardon us for the sake of Christ, the Offspring of Jacob.
I pray: O
Lord, teach us so to pray! Amen
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 67). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.