“13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, ‘Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.’17 He instructed the one in the lead: ‘When my brother Esau meets you and asks, “Who do you belong to, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?” 18 then you are to say, “They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.”’19 He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: ‘You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20 And be sure to say, “Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.”’ For he thought, ‘I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.’ 21 So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.” NIV
‘’I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me’’ (20).
Here is Jacob the mixture: praying, but also scheming, manipulating to try to bring about his desired end. He thought he could buy Esau off with a lavish gift. But as the sequel will show (in chapter 33), it was all unnecessary.
This story causes me to think about how people in general approach God. They tend to think He can be ‘bought’. If there is a God, they feel they have to win His acceptance with their human efforts. They seek to earn his approval by church attendance and charitable acts etc, etc. They believe they can work their way into His good books. But they can’t. God can’t be ‘bought-off’. However, we who know Him have been ‘bought’ by the only price necessary for salvation. It was paid in the currency of the Cross. For those who trust in Jesus alone, they know they are ‘’accepted in the beloved’’. There is no ‘’perhaps’’ about it. They have the witness of the Holy Spirit.
Let this thought be our joy and our peace this Easter time: we don’t have to pay; we have been bought.
PRAYER: ‘I owed a debt I could not pay, He paid a debt He did not owe…’ Thank you Jesus for paying the only price necessary.