Ep. 025: Two Camps

Equiping You to Share the Gospel of Christ

Ep. 025: Two Camps

Jacob and his family were going back to his homeland. Suddenly God’s angels met him. With that, he knew he was not alone, so he called the place “Two Camps.”
From there he sent messengers to his brother Esau saying, “I’m coming home with all my possessions, and I’m hoping you’ll accept me.”
The messengers came back and said, “Your brother is coming with four hundred men.” This struck fear in Jacob’s heart. He immediately divided everything into two camps, saying, “If Esau attacks one camp, the other can escape.”
He prayed, “Oh God of Abraham and Isaac. You told me to come back to my country. You said I’d prosper here. I’m not worthy of the kindness you’ve shown me. I left this land with only my walking stick. Now I’m two camps.
“Please rescue me from my brother. You said my descendants would be as hard to count as the sand on the seashore.”
He then prepared gifts for his brother, which included goats, sheep, camels, cows, and donkeys. He divided them into three groups and sent them ahead. He told his servants, “When Esau comes to the first group, say to him, ‘Your slave Jacob is sending these to you. Look, you can see him back there.’ ” He told the second and third the same things. He was hoping these things would help Esau be more forgiving.
He then spent the night waiting for his brother’s arrival in the morning. Since he couldn’t sleep, he went off to be by himself.
Suddenly a man appeared and grabbed him. Jacob fought back, and the two of them wrestled all night. At daybreak the stranger saw that Jacob was determined not to lose this fight. So the man struck Jacob’s side and dislocated his hip socket. He said, “I’ve got to go. It’s daybreak.”
Jacob said, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.”
The man said, “What’s your name?”
“I’m Jacob!”
The man said, “No, that’s no longer your name. You’ll be called Israel, which means ‘wrestled with God.’ You’ve fought with God, and have lived to tell about it.”
Jacob said, “What’s your name?”
The man said, “I’m not telling you my name.” With that, he blessed Jacob.
Jacob called the place “God’s Face.” He said, “I’ve seen God’s face and I’m still alive.”
Jacob limped back to his camp. Off in the distance he could see Esau and his four hundred men coming. He put each of his families into different groups, and then he went out front. He bowed seven times as he hobbled toward his brother.
Esau ran up to him and gave him a hug. Both men cried. Esau then pointed to the people standing behind Jacob. “Who are these people with you?”
After Esau met Jacob’s family, he said, “Why did you put all those animals along the way?”
“Oh, I gave those to you in hopes of winning your forgiveness.”
Esau said, “No, no. I have enough. You keep them.”
But Jacob insisted. “Please, accept my gifts. It would make me very happy.” So Esau agreed.
Then Esau and his men went home that same day. Jacob went to an area near a city called Shechem. There he built an altar and called it “God, the God of Israel.”

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