Reading For Thursday Genesis 33:1-11
Spotting Esau and his four hundred men coming in the horizon, Israel prepared his family. The concubines and their children were placed in the front, then Leah and her sons, and finally Rachel and Joseph. He intended to introduce his family to Esau in the order of their importance. Israel himself was leading the way in front of his family. Here is a new courage which is evidence of Israel's transformation. As he approached his brother he bowed seven times to the ground, a custom attested in the literature of the ancient world. Here is a new humility which points again to the change in Jacob.
Esau would have none of this exaggerated adulation. He ran to Jacob, embraced and kissed him. The two brothers wept. Esau was surprised to see Jacob’s family, and was anxious to meet them. One by one the concubines and wives with their children came and bowed down before Esau. When the introductions were over, Esau asked about the several herds of livestock which he had met as he approached Jacob’s camp. Jacob explained that these were gifts which he wanted to give to his brother. There is a transformed and new generosity. Esau would have none of that either. He had accumulated his own material wealth. He needed nothing which his brother was offering. Jacob insisted, however, because this amicable reunion deserved such celebration. Seeing Esau’s face was like seeing the face of God! Esau relented agreed to accept the gifts.
Thing To Consider:
- What is the proper way to approach conflict?
- What does Esau's approach teach us about being gracious?
- Do you think Israel sees these gifts as reparation?
- Why do you think Israel compared it to seeing the face of God?