Jacob has spent the last few days worrying about meeting his brother. Because he is so afraid of Esau, he has taken abundant precautions to try to earn his brother’s forgiveness. In today’s passage, Jacob continues to worry about this reunion, but finds that he was worried for nothing.
Please read Genesis 33:1-11.
The first thing that we notice in this passage is Jacob’s priorities. Because he fears Esau’s wrath, he lines his family up in order from least loved to most loved. The thought is that Esau may attack him and his family in a rage, but after killing a few people, his wrath may be satisfied. If that’s the case, then Jacob certainly doesn’t want Rachel or Joseph to be one of those few who are killed! By putting them last, Jacob is attempting to preserve that which is most precious to him.
It’s kind of like the old question: if your house is burning down and you only have a moment to grab something and escape, what would you grab?
Clearly, Jacob would take Rachel and Joseph with him. This is a sad question that no parent wants to truly contemplate, and the idea of favoring one child over another so deeply that we would let one child live and the other die is disgusting.
As it turns out, Jacob didn’t even need to prioritize his children! When he meets Esau, Jacob is amazed to find that his brother is not in a bloodthirsty mood. Quite the contrary: Esau runs to Jacob and hugs and kisses his long-lost brother. Esau then asks about his family and they have a good old family reunion.
It turns out that Jacob was worried for nothing.
Isn’t that how most of our fears and worries turn out? We stress and we fret; we plan out multiple scenarios in our heads and decide on our emergency plans of action; we even physically hurt ourselves with poor eating and sleeping habits as we worry. But then it turns out that we didn’t have to worry after all! The whole thing was just a big misunderstanding!
God knows how easily His children worry unnecessarily, so He calls on us to cast all of our cares upon Him. As God’s children, we no longer need to worry; we can have a peace that passes all understanding.
When we bring our worries, our fears, and our concerns to our Heavenly Father, He will give us rest. We can rest knowing that He is in control of all things, and He is working all things out for the good of those who love Him. We can rest knowing that He who has saved us from eternal damnation can also save us from our comparably minor fears.
No matter what you may be facing today, God is still in control. You don’t need to worry.
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