-Jacob now comes to Edom and knows that he will be encountering his older brother Esau very soon. The angels of God met him prompting Jacob to call this place Mahanaim, “Two camps, two companies.” It is here that he will break his group into two parties out of fear of an attack from his brother, who may still be upset with him for deceitfully gaining the blessing of his father Isaac (Genesis 27).
-Jacob’s idea is first to pray to His LORD for deliverance for the fulfillment of His promises. *Application* This is important for us to remember when we face uncertainty and terrible fear. God is in control despite our circumstances and can rescue us from danger according to His will and His plan. Go to Him first!
-Secondly, Jacob sends his servants ahead in droves of overwhelming amounts of livestock as presents for his brother in order to appease him and get on his good side. I personally have to think God gave him this idea because he had committed his way to the LORD. It certainly made rational sense too, when you think about it. Butter ‘em up was his philosophy.
-His wives and children crossed the ford of the Jabbok in the separation of parties away from Jacob. I believe Jacob was preparing for the worst here and wanted to make sure his posterity remained even if his brother wanted to still kill him (Genesis 27:41).
-Jacob was then left alone that night, and he wrestled with a man until daybreak. The man could not prevail against him, so he dislocated the socket of his thigh. Jacob would still not let him go until he blessed him even as the dawn was beginning to break. It is at this point that the man asked what his name was and Jacob responded with his name, Jacob. Then the LORD said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel (he who strives with God, or God strives); for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed (Genesis 32:28).” Jacob wanted to know his name, but it was not revealed. However, the man blessed Israel. So Jacob named the place Peniel and said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved (Genesis 32:30).” *Application* What are we to take from this saga? Jacob goes from the deceiver to Israel, the one who strives with God and prevails. How persistent are we in our struggles with God. Are we willing to let go in the fight or do we hold on until daybreak for the blessing that the LORD wants to give us. We can be honest with God about any situation. He is the One who has allowed the circumstance and He is the only One that can truly deliver you from the mess that you find yourself in. Cry out to Him, tell Him your every concern, cast all of your anxiety on Him, He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Verse to memorize: Genesis 32:28