Jacob's Return from Padan-Aram
Genesis 32:3-9
And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother to the land of Seir, the country of Edom.…

I. In regard to THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH JACOB WAS PLACED, we may observe that he was surrounded by a numerous family, to whom he was strongly attached, and some of whom were of a very tender age; and that he saw the whole of them, with himself, liable, in the course of a few transitory hours, to be cut off by the sword of an enraged brother.

II. THE CONDUCT WHICH JACOB ADOPTED UPON THIS OCCASION IS FULL OF INTEREST AND INSTRUCTION. It was equally removed from presumption and despair; and presents one of the most edifying examples of sanctified affliction.

1. He did everything in his power to avert his brother's wrath, and conciliate his favour.

2. He made an arrangement in regard to his family, which was calculated at least to save some of them.

3. He had recourse to earnest prayer.

(1) It was addressed to the God of his fathers. Jacob had descended from ancestors distinguished by their piety; and he avails himself of that circumstance to raise his drooping faith.

(2) In Jacob's prayer we observe an humble acknowledgment of his absolute demerit before God.

(3) When asking of God the favour of protection, Jacob gratefully acknowledges the blessings he had already received.

(4) The prayer which is now under our consideration contains an encouraging reference to the Divine direction, which Jacob was then in the very act of obeying.

(5) In this most impressive prayer the patriarch pleads the promise of God in regard to his posterity. The facts which have now occupied our attention contain many practical lessons of general application. They remind us, in a very impressive manner —

1. Of the established connection between sin and punishment.

2. The history of Jacob suggests the immense importance of genuine piety.

3. The example of Jacob, on the occasion described in the text, teaches the important lesson, that to obtain from God the blessing we desire, it is our duty to use the requisite means, and at the same time to place an absolute reliance upon His mercy.

(T. Jackson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.

WEB: Jacob sent messengers in front of him to Esau, his brother, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom.

Jacob's Preparation for Meeting His Angry Brother
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