Peace with the ennemy

Jacob leaves Laban’s land with his family and cattle and then sends messengers to his brother Esau to tell him he has a lot of wealth. The news comes back informing Jacob that his brother comes to him escorted by 400 soldiers armed to the teeth. They have not seen each other for 20 years. So many years have not been enough to appease Esau’s wrath. Jacob is naturally scared and divides his people into two groups in order to preserve one in case the other is besieged by Esau’s troops. He then turns to the LORD of Hosts in prayer. So we see a man in danger to whom comes a “good idea” to solve his problem then goes before the Lord begging for his help.

All the problems that I had to face up to now in my life, except from those given by the Lord as trials, came from this kind of inverted process. The majority of my troubles were the consequences of the fact that I always have a very good idea at first, which I put into practice on the spot before finally turning towards the one to whom I would have asked help from immediately. We often imagine ourselves to be good believers, pure and faithful enough to be able to judge at once and make instant decisions based on our supposed wisdom. This is when problems arise. Fortunately for us, problems do really come and quite loudly enough to open our eyes to our mistake and realize Who is the only solution to all our troubles.

After awakening the beast, Jacob elaborates another strategy. He wants to redeem himself literally with his brother. He tries to establish a long lasting peace by mutual agreement and win his sympathy for want of his love. He offers Esau a part of the wealth he has received from the Eternal as a sign of his submission to the authority of his brother.

As we can read, for some unknown reason, Esau burst into tears at the sight of his brother and his family. It would seem that the Almighty had accomplished in him what he had done in Laban in last week’s parashat when he ordered him not to harm Jacob, his servant.
The enemy, however, does not resign so easily. He first proposes to Jacob to ally himself with all that he possesses. Jacob refuses. Esau then tries to convince him to accept that some of his men escort Jacob and his household on their way. Jacob refuses in a subtle way too. Here we see how the enemy refuses to let you go and struggles in order to maintain some control or keep a certain view on the life of the one who is following the path of the Eternal.

Esau finally agreed to have received only the secondary blessing of his father. Seeing the situation of Jacob, the years of bondage with his father-in-law, Esau himself came to understand that he wants nothing to do with a blessing that results in a calvary such as his brother’s. Esau certainly did not work as hard as Jacob to acquire his fortune. We can imagine how a hunter like him could have got rich. Esau is a man of the world and as such, it is only in this world that he feels good. This world where you can hunt, plunder and have the right to enjoy your goods instantly. He does not understand and can not understand the content of Jacob’s blessing. It is not based on earthly pleasures and quick success. There is no guarantee that the blessing will be fulfilled during the life of who receives it. The true blessings of the Lord are long term and concern many people and generations. Jacob’s blessing is for all people and stands forever. The greatest blessing for a believer is to know that it is his children, his offspring that is going to enjoy the fruits of his devotion. By transmitting the spiritual heritage from generation to generation, the blessing continues to grow. The good blessing for a man of the world like Esau is the one that bears fruits immediately and that serve the well-being of the individual without really worrying about the future of his children. For many, children are important only as long as they help raise the image of the parents in the eyes of the world. Most of the time, the child counts as long as the parents can pride themeselves on his beauty, size, strength, intelligence or any other aptitude for certain things of the current life.

zeev shlomo 15/11/13