Then Esau said, “Let us take our journey; let us go, and I will go before you.”
But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die. Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and the children, are able to endure, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
And Esau said, “Now let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.”
But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, built himself a house, and made booths for his livestock.
To fully grasp this blog post you will need to read the entire account of Jacob and Esau. Up to this point in scripture Jacob, with the help of his mother, has stolen Esau’s birthright and his blessing. Jacob has run away to his Uncle Laban’s house to escape being killed by Esau who is just a little annoyed with Jacob, to say the least. Jacob goes through the whole Leah/Rachel thing, working for Laban for ridiculous amounts of time to “win” his bride. Jacob is prosperous and gains wives, children, livestock and possessions. Jacob is ready to return home but is terrified to see Esau once again. Jacob goes through dramatic orchestrations of events to try and appease Esau so that he will not be killed. AND at the end of all the actions to try to appease Esau, Jacob finds his brother Esau to be happy, healthy and wealthy…..no grudge hanging around his neck. It appears to be a kiss and hug make-up moment and then to our utter astonishment Jacob once again deceives Esau and does not follow Esau as Jacob declared he would do. What is up with that?!!!!
Does that twist the wrong way in your brain as it does mine? Jacob, who God later names Israel, is shown in scripture time and time again to be one gigantic deceiver. My question is, “God, what were You thinking? I just don’t get this. What are You trying to tell me, us your children?”
I called a dear sister of mine early this morning because this scripture was just driving me bonkers. We hashed ideas back and forth. She threw new thoughts my way that I had not as yet considered. And through it all this idea seemed to filter through and begin to take shape……..not all of our journeys make sense. What looked as though would be a “Hallmark” movie of the week moment where long lost brothers reunite, the music swells, and they walk off into the sunset to live the rest of lives in a loving, united family………………takes a ninety degree unexpected turn. It does not make sense, at least to my human brain it did not.
What we human creatures see as being the right way for things to be is not always the same vision as God’s. We witness a reconciliation in Genesis, forgiveness. BUT God had different paths for these brothers to take. Maybe this time Jacob was not being deceitful. Maybe this time Jacob was listening to the voice of God telling him, “Jacob, not that way, go this way.” A healing took place between the brothers so that they each could go the way they were meant to go.
Not all journeys make sense……………………that makes sense to me. Make sense to you?
In a World of Ninety Degree Turns,