Scared to Death
And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed.
Genesis 32 opens with Jacob sending messengers to Esau to beg for his favor, but they return with the worst possible news: “Esau’s on his way with an army!” Whatever hope Jacob held of coming back home quietly is instantly dashed. Feel the weight of his distress here, friend. How haunting this must be! He’s finally escaped the clutches of Laban, the future’s looking brighter than ever, but he finds himself right back in the same quandary he thought he’d evaded decades ago. As if no time has passed. As if the increase of servants, livestock, and children have all been a dream. As if he’s been running for twenty years on a loop trail that’s taken him right back to the start. Picture him here: alone on this hillside, nightfall shrouding his face like a funeral veil, feeling more helpless and terrifyingly small than he’s ever felt in his life. And unless the very God who holds the universe in His hands mercifully comes down to his rescue, he’s a dead man walking.
Just like you and me before Christ saved us!