SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
32:1 So Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.
3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region of Edom. 4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, sheep, and male and female servants. I have sent this message to inform my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”
6 The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you and has 400 men with him.” 7 Jacob was very afraid and upset. So he divided the people who were with him into two camps, as well as the flocks, herds, and camels. 8 “If Esau attacks one camp,” he thought, “then the other camp will be able to escape.”
9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord, you said to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will make you prosper.’ 10 I am not worthy of all the faithful love you have shown your servant. With only my walking stick I crossed the Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Rescue me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, as well as the mothers with their children. 12 But you said, ‘I will certainly make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand on the seashore, too numerous to count.’”
13 Jacob stayed there that night. Then he sent as a gift to his brother Esau 14 200 female goats and 20 male goats, 200 ewes and 20 rams, 15 30 female camels with their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, and 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys. 16 He entrusted them to his servants, who divided them into herds. He told his servants, “Pass over before me, and keep some distance between one herd and the next.” 17 He instructed the servant leading the first herd, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 18 then you must say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’”
19 He also gave these instructions to the second and third servants, as well as all those who were following the herds, saying, “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” Jacob thought, “I will first appease him by sending a gift ahead of me. After that I will meet him. Perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him while he spent that night in the camp.
22 During the night Jacob quickly took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not defeat Jacob, he struck the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, “unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” He answered, “Jacob.” 28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, “but Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have prevailed.”
29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” “Why do you ask my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, explaining, “Certainly I have seen God face to face and have survived.”
31 The sun rose over him as he crossed over Penuel, but he was limping because of his hip. 32 That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.
33:1 Jacob looked up and saw that Esau was coming along with 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants. 2 He put the servants and their children in front, with Leah and her children behind them, and Rachel and Joseph behind them. 3 But Jacob himself went on ahead of them, and he bowed toward the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, hugged his neck, and kissed him. Then they both wept. 5 When Esau looked up and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob replied, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 The female servants came forward with their children and bowed down. 7 Then Leah came forward with her children and they bowed down. Finally Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed down.
8 Esau then asked, “What did you intend by sending all these herds to meet me?” Jacob replied, “To find favor in your sight, my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother. Keep what belongs to you.” 10 “No, please take them,” Jacob said. “If I have found favor in your sight, accept my gift from my hand. Now that I have seen your face and you have accepted me, it is as if I have seen the face of God. 11 Please take my present that was brought to you, for God has been generous to me and I have all I need.” When Jacob urged him, he took it.
12 Then Esau said, “Let’s be on our way! I will go in front of you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are young, and that I have to look after the sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. If they are driven too hard for even a single day, all the animals will die. 14 Let my lord go on ahead of his servant. I will travel more slowly, at the pace of the herds and the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”
15 So Esau said, “Let me leave some of my men with you.” “Why do that?” Jacob replied. “My lord has already been kind enough to me.”
16 So that same day Esau made his way back to Seir. 17 But Jacob traveled to Sukkoth where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called Sukkoth.
18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near the city. 19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for 100 pieces of money. 20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.”