Genesis 33* The friendly meeting of Jacob and Esau. (1-16) Jacob comes toSuccoth and Shalem, He builds an altar. (17-20)1-16 Jacob, having by prayer committed his case to God, went onhis way. Come what will, nothing can come amiss to him whoseheart is fixed, trusting in God. Jacob bowed to Esau. A humble,submissive behaviour goes far towards turning away wrath. Esauembraced Jacob. God has the hearts of all men in his hands, andcan turn them when and how he pleases. It is not in vain totrust in God, and to call upon him in the day of trouble. Andwhen a man's ways please the Lord he maketh even his enemies tobe at peace with him. Esau receives Jacob as a brother, and muchtenderness passes between them. Esau asks, Who are those withthee? To this common question, Jacob spoke like himself, like aman whose eyes are ever directed towards the Lord. Jacob urgedEsau, though his fear was over, and he took his present. It iswell when men's religion makes them generous, free-hearted, andopen-handed. But Jacob declined Esau's offer to accompany him.It is not desirable to be too intimate with superior ungodlyrelations, who will expect us to join in their vanities, or atleast to wink at them, though they blame, and perhaps mock at,our religion. Such will either be a snare to us, or offendedwith us. We shall venture the loss of all things, rather thanendanger our souls, if we know their value; rather than renounceChrist, if we truly love him. And let Jacob's care and tenderattention to his family and flocks remind us of the goodShepherd of our souls, who gathers the lambs with his arm, andcarries them in his bosom, and gently leads those that are withyoung, #Isa 40:11|. As parents, teachers or pastors, we shouldall follow his example. 17-20 Jacob did not content himself with words of thanks forGod's favour to him, but gave real thanks. Also he kept upreligion, and the worship of God in his family. Where we have atent, God must have an altar. Jacob dedicated this altar to thehonour of El-elohe-Israel, God, the God of Israel; to the honourof God, the only living and true God; and to the honour of theGod of Israel, as a God in covenant with him. Israel's God isIsrael's glory. Blessed be his name, he is still the mighty God,the God of Israel. May we praise his name, and rejoice in hislove, through our pilgrimage here on earth, and for ever in theheavenly Canaan.
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