When Jacob was on his way to meet Esau for the first time since their separation, he was met by angels of God. My mom really would like to see Jesus or at least an angel, probably because her mom and sister were visited – one by Jesus and the other by an angel. I keep telling her that I am her angel, but her facial expression depicts the truth of the matter. What would you do or at least how would you feel if you are on the journey of life or death and were met and encouraged by a group of angels sent from God to minister to you? One would think that your hopes of a successful journey towards life would be your foremost state of mind, soul and body. The news, according to Josephus, was good: they “suggested to him good hope of his future condition.” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, 20:1)
As with most of us, it probably lasted the evening, but in the morning sun Jacob declares – perhaps he will accept me – then with the foothold of a decrease in hope (he could not afford to lose a drop) his next statement is – perhaps he will kill me.
So with the message of hope being just part of the dream, Jacob turned to his hopeless reality and back to his namesake – deceiver – and created a master plan. He hoped that the first wave of his property, if met with disaster, would be enough to avenge his brother’s anger and appease his wrath so that the next waves would be spared.
He had put words into the mouths of each leader of each group as to how to explain this wave of travellers. They were all based on humility. Maybe his humility would demonstrate his acknowledgement of his wrong.
There was a lot of work put into the activity. With hope there is trust in God and you come as you are. With no hope in God, hope needs to be created – no guarantees and lots of hard work. With hope, our prayer life is strong as we remind God of His promises and tell Him that we are standing on the firmest ground of hope, furnished with the best petitions because He will do what He promises to do. Without hope, maybe your prayer life is lost as well.
Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; and when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called that place Mahanaim. – Genesis 32:1-2