Gen. 33:1 Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2 He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.
Gen. 33:4 But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
The last time these brothers met things were extremely rocky in their relationship. Jacob had stolen the blessing from his brother Esau and there was much anger between the two. Now, knowing that they would meet again, Jacob prepares for the visit. He wants to be reconciled to Esau but before that can happen he spends the night wrestling with God. This wrestling is a foreshadowing of God’s work of reconciliation among his people that continues throughout history.
After submitting himself to God, he humbles himself before his brother. The arrogance of the past is gone as he works to bring down the barriers which had developed in their relationship.
There are those in life with whom we need to be reconciled and the two-fold process found here with Jacob can be a lesson to you and to me. First, he realized the need for complete and total submission before God. After this he was willing to take action to humble himself before his brother so that God could bring about healing in their relationship.
For there to be genuine reconciliation of relationships in our world today, we must be willing to take the actions necessary for the love of God to flow among us. The divide which remains among people of different religions, race, and gender need not exist if the people of God submit themselves to God and actively work toward reconciliation.
Lord, please lead your people today to be a people of peace. Amen.