Through the Bible Day by Day
And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
JACOB AND ESAU RECONCILED
Many things, like this meeting with Esau, are worse in anticipation than in actuality. The brothers were on the same old terms as before that filching of Isaac’s blessing. The holy transactions of the previous night had induced this change in the atmosphere. If our ways please the Lord, He will make our enemies to be at peace with us. We must win power with God, by yielding to Him, before we can have power with our Esaus and prevail. When you fear man’s wrath, do not run hither and thither for defense; be still and fear not. Commit your way to the Lord and read Psa_37:1-40. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Surely Jacob needed not to fear, or make these lame excuses and promises. He never intended to go to Esau, to Seir. As soon as the last ranks of his brother’s men were lost in the desert haze, he turned to go in the contrary direction. This duplicity was not worthy of the heir of the promises; but too many of us would have done the same, even on the morrow of the Jabbok-wrestle.
And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.
JACOB WITH THE SHECHEMITES
Jacob was tempted by the fat pastures of Shechem, without thought or care of the character of its people, and he lived to bitterly rue his choice. How many religious parents have made the same mistake! They first encamp near the world, pitching their tent doors in that direction; then they buy a parcel of land, and finally their children contract alliances that end in shame and disaster. He who came of a pilgrim race, and to whom the whole land had been given by promise, bought real estate right against Shechem, one of the worst cities in the country. Like Lot, Jacob bid high for wealth and worldly advancement, risked the highest for the lowest, and was saved as by fire. Poor Dinah! Yet she was more sinned against than sinning. Jacob had put her in jeopardy by his selfish policy; and Leah was not blameless, for she had let her go unwarned and unaccompanied into the middle of that furnace of trial.