GENESIS 32:1-12 – Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim. And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’ ” And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.” And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”
THEME OF THE DAY: WHEN I AM AFRAID. Today’s theme is for all of us. No one is immune to the emotional pain of being afraid. Adam took care of that in the Garden of Eden with his disobedience to God – Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:7-10). Adam’s response to his fear was to hide from God, to run, to isolate himself.
Now today’s scripture and Jacob. His fear was paralyzing. Remember the last time he saw Esau, his brother threatened to kill him (Genesis 27:41). There was every reason to be afraid of meeting him again – “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. But how did Jacob respond? The opposite of Adam. He ran to God, not away from Him – And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD.
When gripped with fear, Jacob took his burden to the Lord. As we read on, he pleaded God’s own promises back to Him. The question now comes, when we are afraid, what do we do? Panic or pray? The choice is ours. And what we choose either calms our fearful hearts as we rest in the Lord or creates such inward turmoil that doubts grip us with great force stealing our joy and peace from the Lord.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You that when I am afraid, You are my strength.”
QUOTE: “When gripped with fear we can either panic or pray. The choice is ours.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,