And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, ‘Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:’ I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou hast shewed unto Thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And Thou saidst, ‘I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ” Genesis 32:9-12
Jacob was about to come in contact with Esau, his brother who had threatened to kill him twenty plus years before when Jacob had deceived their father Isaac out of the family blessing. Rebekah had urged Jacob to flee to her homeland of Haran to her brother Laban which he did.
After these years of working with Laban, raising cattle, sheep, and goats, the LORD tells Jacob to return to Canaan the land promised to Abraham and Isaac, and now promised to Jacob as well. He is still fearful of his brother, and after some time planning Jacob, Rachel, Leah, their handmaids, all of Jacob’s children, other servants, and all the livestock head for Canaan.
God has called Jacob to return, yet there is distress, fear of meeting Esau. “How will he receive me?”, must have been in his thinking, “Will he forgive me or kill me, and all that is mine?” He prays the prayer above and expresses his faith by reminding God of what He has said.
When the Christian is facing distress, fear or any other problem of anxiety, doubt, or trouble of any kind it is good for us to go to God with the fear and anxiety the trouble and express it to Him. If God has called us to do something that has caused this fear and distress, we must keep heading toward what He has called us to do while reminding Him of His calling, which most times on my part is a reminder to me that God has said, and God has promised, and He will do and accomplish all that He says.
When God told Jacob, “I will surely do you good, and make your seed as the sand of the sea,” then Jacob, and all who have came to Him can trust that He will do as He says.
Only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the grace through faith that saves us, and answers prayer.