Sunday, August 29, 2021

God’s Timeline – Part 39 Jacob Meets with Esau

 God’s Timeline – Part 39

Jacob Meets with Esau

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith Church | |

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SERMON TIMELINE (2021 A.D. = 5781 Jewish Calendar Year)

-         Creation Week (Approximately 4000 - 3900 B.C.)

o   Adam, Eve, and the Fall 

-         Cain and Abel

o   Evil Fills the World 

-         Noah Did All God Commanded Him

o   The Flood 2379 – 2279 B.C.)

o   God’s Covenant with Noah

o   Noah’s Sons and Ham’s Sin

o   Nations of Noah’s Sons 

-         Tower of Babel

-         God calls Abram (2091 B.C.)

o   Abram and Lot part ways

o   Rescue of Lot 

-         The Lord’s Covenant with Abram for Isaac

o   Hagar and Ishmael Born (2080 B.C.) Abram 86 years old

o   Sarai and Isaac

o   The Three Visitors

o   Abraham Pleads for Sodom 

-         Birth of Isaac (2066 B.C. Abraham 99 years old Sarah 90-Hagar and Ishmael sent away)

o   The Lord tests Abraham (2048 – 2046 B.C. Isaac 18-20 years old)

o   Sarah Dies 127 years old (2029 B.C. Abraham is 136) 

-         Isaac marries Rebekah (2028 B.C. Isaac was 37 when he married Rebekah)

-         Jacob and Esau are born (2006 B.C. Isaac was 60 Abraham 159)

o   Abraham dies at 175 (1991 B.C. Isaac was 82)

o   Isaac receives the Birthright and his father’s blessing

o   Esau marries two Hittites at 40 (1967 B.C.)

o   Esau marries a daughter of Ishmael

o   Jacob travels to his grandfather’s family to find a wife (1930 B.C.)

o   Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

o   Jacob marries Leah then Rachel

§  Levi is born (1920 B.C.)

§  Joseph is born (1916 B.C.)

o   Jacob fled Laban and is pursued (1910 B.C.)

o   Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

o   Jacob Wrestles with God & Becomes Israel

o   Jacob Meets With Esau after 20 Years




The short of what has taken place is Jacob left to find a wife and run from Esau. He met with God at Beth-El, where God passed the covenant of Abraham on to Jacob, promised He would protect him and give him many offspring and bring him back to Beth-El.


Over the next 20 years, Jacob had many children with Leah, Rachel and their two servants. Wanting to leave Laban and his land Jacob left in the night. No one knew Rachel stole idols from her father.


Jacob wrestles with God and God changes his name from deceiver to Israel.


Now Jacob meets with his brother Esau after 20 years away.



Genesis 33

“Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. 2 He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. 3 He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.


4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. 5 Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked.


Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.”


6 Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down. 7 Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down.


8 Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?”


“To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said.


9 But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”


10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.


12 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.”


13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”


15 Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.”


“But why do that?” Jacob asked. “Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.”


16 So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir. 17 Jacob, however, went to Sukkoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth. [meaning shelters]


18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, [Northwest Mesopotamia] he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver, [LIThundred kesitahs” – unknown unit of measuring Hebrew money] he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. 20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel. [meaning Mighty is the God of Israel]


       I.         ESAU RUNS TO GREET JACOB

a.      Jacob divides his children among their mothers Leah, Rachel and the two servants

                                     i.      Placing the servants and their children first, then, then Rachel

                                  ii.      Very telling, because at this point Jacob still doesn’t know Esau’s intent, Jacob places his dearest in the back


b.     Jacob then bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached Esau

                                     i.      Seven, the number of completeness, perfection, wholeness

                                  ii.      Meaning here, he bowed not just physically complete, but with true meaning

                               iii.      This was not a show, or for trickery, but a whole-hearted and complete submission

                                iv.      He knew his brother wanted him dead, his brother had 400 men with him, Jacob wanted peace and forgiveness


c.      But Esau ran to him, hugged, and kissed him and they wept

                                     i.      After 20 years Esau’s hate and anger had subsided, and he was happy to see his twin brother once more



a.      Esau asked the meaning of the flocks and herds he met on the way to meet Jacob

                                     i.      Jacob explains they were offerings of peace


b.     Esau refuses to take anything from Jacob

                                     i.      After 20 years it was obvious Esau had become a great and powerful Chieftain

                                  ii.      He refuses to take anything from Jacob, telling him he has everything he needs

                               iii.      It is obvious that Esau showing up with 400 men is a sign of his power and wealth

                                iv.      Jacob continues to insist, and Esau finally accepts the gifts of the flocks and herds

                                   v.      This puts Jacob at ease that all is forgiven between him and his brother


c.      Let us be on our way then

                                     i.      Esau suggests they all ride together back to Seir

                                  ii.      However, Jacob uses the excuse (deceives Esau) the children and flocks and herds couldn’t travel that fast

                               iii.      Jacob tells Esau he will meet up with him later in Seir

                                iv.      Jacob never goes to Seir…quickly forgetting he is no longer Jacob (the deceiver) but Israel



a.      Jacob goes to Sukkoth and builds a house

                                     i.      Esau suggests they travel together back to Seir, but Jacob asks to come later

                                  ii.      Jacob makes up the excuse the cattle and children cannot travel fast

                               iii.      However, instead of following Esau, Jacob goes to Sukkoth and builds a house

                                iv.      Jacob and Leah’s daughter Dinah is about 7 currently


b.     Jacob moves again

                                     i.      Several years after living in Sukkoth, Jacob moves and settles in Shechem

                                  ii.      Jacob has forgotten that God said He was the God of Beth-El, and that is where Jacob should be

                               iii.      The fact he purchased land shows Jacob planned on living here, he was not just passing through. This was not God’s Will for Jacob!

                                iv.      This being the place Abraham built an altar to God, Jacob does the same


c.      Jacob builds an Alter

                                     i.      Because Jacob has a new name, Israel, given him by God in Genesis 32:28, he calls the place El-elohe-Israel, meaning Mighty is the God of Israel

                                  ii.      Jacob is recalling his vow he made to God in Beth-El

                               iii.      Jacob is miles away from Beth-El

                                iv.      Dinah is now approximately 15 





God promised Jacob protection, offspring, and the land on which he lay.


Genesis 28:15 “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”


God made His Will evident to Jacob. It was here, in Beth-El, where Jacob was to return.


Genesis 28:16-17 “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”


God did not say He would bring Jacob back to Seir, Sukkoth, Paddan Aram or Shechem.


He said Beth-El.


Jacob, after deceiving his brother Esau once more, chose his own path, first to Sukkoth, then seven years later to Shechem.


Seven representing completeness, wholeness, Jacob is completely out of God’s Will at this point.


Yet, he does not see this, and builds an Altar to God where “he” wanted to as opposed to the land God said he was to return to.


When we live outside of God’s Will we put us in a bad place.


Next week we will read about Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah



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