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Greg Brothers is an Adventist pastor in Oregon.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ad astra per aspera

Jacob sent his family on ahead.

With that, you know everything you need to know about “Jake the Snake.”

It had been 20-years since he’d since his brother, remember – 20-years since he’d left town one step ahead of a lynch mob with his brother at the head of the pack. And when Jacob sent word that he was coming home – “and can’t we let bygones be bygones?” – he soon found out that time does not heal all wounds.

No, his brother was coming to meet him – his brother, and a mob of 400 men!

So Jacob did what he could to cut his losses, appease his brother, and make things right with God. But when it came to the night before the battle . . .

Jacob sent his family on ahead, while he remained behind.

Maybe that’s why God decided it was time for a little tough love; maybe that’s why God decided it was time for a “smackdown at the Jabbok.” For there he was, plotting his escape . . . and the next thing Jacob knew was that somebody grabbed him and slammed into the ground. All night they wrestled. All night they fought.

And when morning came, Jacob was hurting. He was limping. But he was a changed man.

For when Esau showed up that very morning – together with his 400 men – we read in Genesis 33:3 that it was Jacob who went out to meet them.

No longer hiding behind his wives and children, now it is Jacob who leads the way.


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