Summary: Jacob Prepares to Meet Easu. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Genesis chapter 32 verses 1-21:


• James Whistler, the Victorian artist,

• Showed scant respect for the hierarchy of any profession.

• When his poodle fell ill with a throat infection,

• The artist sent immediately for the country’s leading ear, nose, and throat specialist,

• Sir Morell Mackenzie was not amused when he was shown his patient,

• But he conducted a thorough examination, wrote out a prescription, and left with his fee.

• The next day Sir Morell Mackenzie sent the artist James Whistler a message;

• In it he asked him to call on him without delay.

• Fearing some development in the poodle’s condition,

• James Whistler hurried to the doctor’s house.

• “So good of you to come, Mr. Whistler,” said Mackenzie as his visitor was shown in.

• “I wanted to see you about having my front door painted.”

• Well Sir Morell Mackenzie got his revenge;

• And made his point effectively!

Now in Genesis 32 the main character is Jacob:

• He is worried that his brother Esau is about to take revenge on him:

• Esau his brother was a fighter and a killer and Jacob was scared to death of him

• Let me remind you that the last time the two brothers met,

• Jacob tricked his brother Esau and he not Esau got the family blessing.

• When Esau realised he had been made to look a fool and he had missed the blessing.

• It was too late.

• As a result of this deception Jacob had to quickly leave his home and land.

• Because Esau wanted to kill him.

• Now 20 years have passed by;

• And Jacob is commanded by God (chapter 31 verse 13) to return back to his home.

When we pick up the story in chapter 32 Jacob is a worried, an anxious man:

Quote: Navy Law:

“If you can keep your head when all about you others are losing theirs,

may be you just don’t understand the situation”.

• Jacob is a worried, an anxious man all he can think of is, “What will Esau do to me?”

• Despite the promises of God Jacob is a troubled man!


There is a story told about a construction worker.

• This construction worker was employed on a high-rise building project,

• Which required him and others to work after dark.

• He was busy on the edge of one of the walls which was many stories high,

• When he suddenly lost his balance and fell.

• As he fell over the edge,

• He managed to grab the edge of the wall with his fingertips.

• Desperately he hung on hoping that somebody would discover his perilous situation.

• He was in total darkness, just about hanging on to the wall, and crying out loud for help,

• Due to the noise and machinery at the construction site.

• No one could hear him, all his screams were in vain.

Very soon his arms begin to grow weak and his grip began to slip:

• He tried praying, but no miracle occurred.

• At last his fingers slipped from the wall and with a cry of horror he fell!

• He fell exactly 3 feet and landed on a scaffold that had been there all the time,

• But he had not seen it because of the darkness.

This story illustrates some of the situations we sometimes find ourselves in:

• When we face various crises in life.

• Sometimes we feel that we are all alone,

• Desperately doing all we can to save ourselves, crying out for help but feeling unheard,

• Until finally we lose all our own strength and let go.

It is then that we discover that we were never in any real danger to begin with.

• Oftentimes we give in to fear and discouragement in times of crises

• Because we do not know or see that we are safe in God’s hands.

• We do not see because of the darkness that surrounds us,

• Not literal darkness but the darkness of unbelief.

Jacob very much feels like that construction worker:

• Worried and blinded by unbelief, he thinks he is in great danger.

• He cannot appreciate that with God on his side he is not actually in any danger at all!

I want to divide these 21 verses under 4 headings this morning:

(1). Jacob's Helper (verses 1-2):

Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.

2 When Jacob saw them, he said,

This is the camp of God! So he named that place Mahanaim (ma-han-ian).

• When Jacob left the promised land (chapter 28) he had a vision of angels at Bethel;

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