You feel like you are living on the edge of a cliff and you’re not sure whether today you are going to fall over or not.
Reference: v.11 ‘Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children.’ (NIV Bible)
Explore: Nothing says “anticipation” more than a child waiting for Christmas morning to arrive! As a child, the lead up to something exciting can be torture and just seems a waste of time. They are impatient and just want to get to the moment. Anticipation can also be a time when we are waiting for something terrible to happen. When someone is anticipating the results of a medical test; when someone is anticipating a particular meeting at work; when someone is anticipating the end of a relationship. These times can also seem like torture. You feel like you are living on the edge of a cliff and you’re not sure whether today you are going to fall over or not. This is how Jacob was feeling when he heard that his brother was coming his way with 400 men in tow. With their tumultuous past there was much uncertainty as to how this meeting was going to end. And the whole of chapter 32 is just the anticipation of this meeting.
Application: Anticipating something terrible can lead to much nervousness and anxiety. However, Jacob leads a great example of what to do in such times. He is proactive in caring for those under his care and he spends a great deal of time with God in prayer. He reminds himself, and God, of the promises they have made to each other and humbles himself before his God. Through this time of trepid anticipation Jacob goes back to reliance on God. To his credit, he is proactive too. He doesn’t just sit on his hands and say, ‘what will be, will be.’ He divides the group into two, he sends gifts to his brother Esau and he persists in holding his ground. But when all that is practically possible is done, he gives it over to God and the future that God has in store for him. The fear and anxiety that anticipation brings can often lead to us making poor choices. However if we remain faithful to God and his desire for our lives then we are reminded of his promise to never leave us nor forsake us.
Prayer: Lord, there are many things that come up in our lives that are out of our control. We are reminded that You hold all things in Your hands. May we have faith that You will always be there for us. Amen.
What are you anticipating at this time? How would you like God to help you through this time?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.