Today we are back
to the story of Jacob,
after God named him Israel.
Now it’s interesting to me,
that the writer continues
to use Jacob’s name
instead of making the change.
When the Lord renamed
Abram to Abraham,
the writing changed -
but not so with Jacob to Israel.
I wonder “why not”?
The scripture says,
“Jacob lifted his eyes and looked,
and saw Esau coming,
and with him were four hundred men.
So Jacob divided the children
among Leah, Rachel,
and the two maidservants.
He put the maidservants
and their children in front,
Leah and her children behind,
and Rachel and Joseph last.”
It's pretty obvious who Jacob loved best.
By the way -
I am amazed that Jesus came
through the line of Judah
instead of Joseph or Benjamin -
Judah was born to Leah -
the child who Israel loved less.
Joseph was the favorite.
The scripture then says,
“Jacob crossed over before them
and bowed himself to the ground
until he came near to his brother.
But Esau ran to meet him,
and embraced him,
and fell on his neck and kissed him,
and they wept.”
This story reminds me of when
the Israelites marched around
the city of Jericho seven times,
and blew their horns,
and the walls of Jericho came falling down.
But this time, the walls represent the heart.
“Now Esau lifted his eyes
and saw the women and children,
and said, “Who are these with you?”
“The children whom God
has graciously given your servant.”
Then the maidservants came near,
they and their children,
and bowed down.
And Leah also came near
with her children,
and they bowed down.
Afterward Joseph and Rachel
came near, and they bowed down.
Then Esau said,
“What do you mean
by all this company which I met?”
Esau was referring to the livestock
that Jacob had sent ahead as a gift.
“These are to find favor
in the sight of my Lord.”
Did you hear that?
Jacob called Esau his Lord.
What do you think he meant?
Was Jacob replacing God -
or was this a term of endearment?
“I have enough, my brother;
keep what you have for yourself.”
Esau called Jacob “brother” -
he did not call him “Lord.”
Esau recognized the relationship,
but he did not bow down to Jacob.
Jacob said, “No, please,
if I have now found favor in your sight,
then receive my present from my hand,
inasmuch as I have seen your face
as though I had seen the face of God,
and you were pleased with me.”
his brother’s love.
Esau’s endearing reception
of open arms and tears of joy,
was like seeing the face of God.
“Please, take my blessing
that is brought to you,
because God has dealt
graciously with me,
and because I have enough.”
Jacob urged Esau, and he took it.
Then Esau said,
“Let us take our journey;
let us go, and I will go before you.”
But Jacob said to him,
“My Lord knows
that the children are weak,
and the flocks and herds
which are nursing are with me.
And if the men
should drive them hard one day,
all the flock will die.
Please let my Lord go on ahead
before his servant.
I will lead on slowly
at a pace which the livestock
that go before me, and the children,
are able to endure,
until I come to my Lord in Seir.”
Jacob understood the health of his tribe.
The journey this far had been very long.
They needed rest. They needed time.
“Now let me leave with you
some of the people who are with me.”
Esau was willing to help.
But Jacob said,
“What need is there?
Let me find favor in the sight of my Lord.”
So Esau returned that day
on his way to Seir.
And Jacob journeyed to Succoth,
built himself a house,
and made booths for his livestock.
Therefore the name of the place
is called Succoth.”
every name is scripture
seems to have some kind of significance.
Let me look up Succoth.
Succoth means booths or huts -
this is the place where Jacob made
booths for his livestock and flocks.
Another word for Succoth is Sukkot -
and it’s used to describe the Feast of Booths -
which is related to the pilgrimage
of wandering aimlessly lost
only to find the magnificent House of God.