PRAYER WATCH: Gen 32:3-21. When 20 years later Jacob is approaching a reunion with his estranged brother Esau, he is distressed. So he prays for deliverance from Esau, reminding the Lord of his command to return to the land of his fathers and reminding the Lord of his promise to do good to Jacob. In addition to his prayer, Jacob also sets up his own method of appeasing Esau and persuading his heart. Esau is appeased. Whether it is just now or whether it was long before he heard Jacob was returning, we don’t know.
Gen 25-35. Jacob’s family tends to be a scoundrelly bunch. It doesn’t help that Daddy and Mama pick their favorite twin, Esau and Jacob respectively.
--Carnal Esau sells his birthright for a mess of stew b/c he’s famished.
--Tricky Jacob, prompted by Mother Dearest, tricks Daddy into giving him brother’s blessing.
--Hot-tempered Esau declares his intention to kill Jacob for it.
--Crafty Uncle Laban tricks Jacob into marrying the daughter Laban wants to unload, and that after seven years’ engagement to the desired daughter.
--Jacob, following the pattern set by his parents, loves Rachel more than Leah. This leads to open womb-fare between the sisters to ingratiate themselves with their mutual hubby. It also leads to much misery, some of it expressed, much of it screaming between the lines.
--Exploitive Uncle Laban changes Jacob’s wages “ten times” (either literally, or metaphorically for “many times”).
--Greedy Uncle Laban has also apparently defrauded his own daughters of their inheritances (31:14-15).
--Rachel steals her daddy’s household gods, whether to worship or to sell, either reason has its attendant problems.
--Dishonest Jacob, even after reconciled with Esau, lies to him about meeting up later. Perhaps Jacob assumes that Esau is just as dishonest as he is.
--Vengeful Simeon and Levi kill not only their sister’s rapist, but they annihilate the men of the entire town.
--Lustful Reuben sleeps with Dad’s concubine.
And it is through this family that God’s grace comes to all nations. I guess that’s why it’s called “grace.” Praise God for his grace! Am I any less scoundrelly?