- Gen. 31:1-33:20
After Jacob had been with his father-in-law Laban for over twenty years, GOD told him to return to his family. GOD promised to be with him and to bless him. But Jacob had not forgotten the reason why he fled to Haran in the first place. What if Esau was still angry and wanting to kill him? Would GOD tell him to return home if it wasn’t safe? What will happen to my family if I return home?
No doubt Jacob was afraid, not knowing how Esau would respond upon his return. But Jacob trusted in GOD to protect him. Jacob left secretly without telling Laban for fear that Laban would keep Rachel and Leah there instead of letting them leave. On the third day Laban heard Jacob had left and he followed them. GOD told Laban in a dream that he was not to say anything good or evil to Jacob, nor harm him. GOD was keeping His promise to Jacob.
As Jacob came closer to Esau’s home, he sent messengers and gifts ahead in an effort to show Esau that he was coming peacefully. Jacob also split up his family into two groups and sent them in different directions in an effort to protect them in case Esau attacked him. But once again, GOD protected Jacob and Esau welcomed him home happily and peacefully.
Sometimes GOD has us do things that are scary to us. The Bible tells of people who suffered and died while choosing to obey GOD rather than men. Sometimes GOD chose to protect His servants from harm. Other times He allowed them to suffer for His name’s sake and glory. Choosing to obey GOD, regardless of the consequences, is not always the easiest decision to make. But it is always the right decision and, in the long run, it’s the best decision.