We all know what it is like to be estranged from family members. Our root connections with family are deeply ingrained and we long to be reconciled when relationships are broken. This is what it was like for Jacob. He wanted to go home.

Jacob did not have to go through his brother’s territory to go home, but he chose to do so only after wrestling with God all night long. Obviously he wanted to put things right with the brother he had cheated. Barnhouse used to say “the way to up is down, and the way to down is up.” Meaning that God will humble those who exalt themselves, but will exalt those who humble themselves.

Jacob humbled himself before his brother Esau by bowing down seven times before him.  Ogilvie says that even though Jacob did not know Christ’s teaching about “first be reconciled to your brother” (Matthew 5:24), “he showed sensitivity to the necessity of this kind of action.” Because of Jacob’s humble approach, God moved Esau to welcome his brother home. The joy is unmistakeable as seen in verse 4 of chapter 33,  “Esau ran to meet him and embraced him…and kissed him and they wept.”

They say that John Lennon was trying to get things right with his estranged family when he was murdered in New York. He waited too long!