The doors were closed to Jacob as far as living with Laban went. He started to close them by trying to run away with the man’s daughters and his own personal farm management skills. Laban finished the closure with the so-called “covenant” that he initiated. So although they had ‘made peace’ the bridge behind Jacob was virtually burnt down. There was no place else for him to head but home.
Back there at home though, was the brother whom he had cheated. He was, understandably afraid of an encounter with Esau. He had to rely not only on his shrewdness but on God’s mercy.
10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children.
All the wealth, the impressive gifts with which he would seek to win back Esau would not work on their own. Even his strategy to let a party go first and risk death in his effort to assuage Esau’s wrath reflected the old cheat Jacob.
Jacob seemed to recognise that he needed more than his well thought out schemes to secure a safe future with Esau. He wisely recognised that he had God’s promise of progeny to count on, only he could not see clearly the way forward.
How could he when he was only poised to judge things the way he knew how to? His point of view was what he had always operated from. Now, he needed new eyes for seeing. In seeking God’s mercy, he was putting himself on the right track – one that each one of us should tread, not only when we have wronged another, but always. God always has both our back and our future covered. No one both knows and loves us so well.
Renew us Lord or God, for we continually need new eyes for seeing- a vision that only you can give. Remind us that when our actions or our history clouds the way, you provide solutions; and in the midst of turmoil, you offer your inexplicable peace.