Genesis 33

* The friendly meeting of Jacob and Esau. (1-16) Jacob comes to

Succoth and Shalem, He builds an altar. (17-20)

1-16 Jacob, having by prayer committed his case to God, went on

his way. Come what will, nothing can come amiss to him whose

heart is fixed, trusting in God. Jacob bowed to Esau. A humble,

submissive behaviour goes far towards turning away wrath. Esau

embraced Jacob. God has the hearts of all men in his hands, and

can turn them when and how he pleases. It is not in vain to

trust in God, and to call upon him in the day of trouble. And

when a man's ways please the Lord he maketh even his enemies to

be at peace with him. Esau receives Jacob as a brother, and much

tenderness passes between them. Esau asks, Who are those with

thee? To this common question, Jacob spoke like himself, like a

man whose eyes are ever directed towards the Lord. Jacob urged

Esau, though his fear was over, and he took his present. It is

well when men's religion makes them generous, free-hearted, and

open-handed. But Jacob declined Esau's offer to accompany him.

It is not desirable to be too intimate with superior ungodly

relations, who will expect us to join in their vanities, or at

least to wink at them, though they blame, and perhaps mock at,

our religion. Such will either be a snare to us, or offended

with us. We shall venture the loss of all things, rather than

endanger our souls, if we know their value; rather than renounce

Christ, if we truly love him. And let Jacob's care and tender

attention to his family and flocks remind us of the good

Shepherd of our souls, who gathers the lambs with his arm, and

carries them in his bosom, and gently leads those that are with

young, #Isa 40:11|. As parents, teachers or pastors, we should

all follow his example.
17-20 Jacob did not content himself with words of thanks for

God's favour to him, but gave real thanks. Also he kept up

religion, and the worship of God in his family. Where we have a

tent, God must have an altar. Jacob dedicated this altar to the

honour of El-elohe-Israel, God, the God of Israel; to the honour

of God, the only living and true God; and to the honour of the

God of Israel, as a God in covenant with him. Israel's God is

Israel's glory. Blessed be his name, he is still the mighty God,

the God of Israel. May we praise his name, and rejoice in his

love, through our pilgrimage here on earth, and for ever in the

heavenly Canaan.
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