After praying a prayer for deliverance, Jacob personally selected 200 female and 20 male goats, 200 ewes and 20 rams, 30 milk camels with their young colt, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys. In that time and culture, this would have not only been a sign of significant wealth, but of affluence and power. He divided them into herds and gave them to 3 groups of his servants and sent them one group after another, ahead of him, instructing them to keep a distance between each group. Then he commanded each group to respond to Esau, his brother, with the same message. When Esau asks them, “To whom do these herds, before you, belong?” and “Where are you going?”. They were to respond “These are your servant Jacob’s; but they are a present to his master Esau and he is right behind us.” He told them “Be sure to say, that your servant Jacob is right behind us.” for he thought that by sending the present ahead of him, Esau would be appeased when he would meet Jacob in person and perhaps accept him. Jacob sent the present ahead of him but he himself stayed the night in the camp.
From this account one can learnt that one can take prudent and proactive actions in their attempt to reconcile with those whom they have wronged, for a gift can open doors (Proverbs 18:16) and pacifies anger (Proverbs 21:14) appeasing the receiver of the gift.
Points to ponder:
God took the proactive action of offering himself to man for he loved them, despite their rebellion and disobedience (John 3:16). God the Father’s wrath was appeased when his only begotten Son, Jesus, offered himself as the present in mankind’s stead (Hebrews 10:12). Jesus, the gift of God, opened the door to God, as the veil that separated the Holy of holies was torn at Jesus’ death (Matthew 21:17) and he pacified the anger of God. Jesus is the only appeasing present to God.
And now it is our turn … to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God (Romans 12:1). And when we believe in Jesus Christ, as our Savior and Lord, we are accepted in the beloved (in Christ) by God (Ephesians 1:6). Is your life an appeasing present? Are you an appeasing present to God?
Genesis 32:13-20 (KJV)
13 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;
14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.
17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?
18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.
19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.
20 And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.
21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
Hebrews 10:11-12 (KJV)
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;