by Mary Vee
"Oh, no! There he is." Jacob lowered his hands from shading his eyes. "All right everyone. Stay calm. We'll break into the groups just like we practiced."
He called Bilhah and Zilpah first. "Get your sons and go to the front of our family." Bilhah called Dan and Naphtali. Zilpah called Gad and Asher. The six of them walked cautiously to the front of the family.
Jacob then called Leah. "Have your children stand by you. You will be the next group." Leah called Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulum, and Dinah. The eight of them stood behind Bilhah and Zilpah and their children.
Jacob walked over to Rachel. "Keep Joseph close to you. Stand behind Leah and her children."
Rachel's eyes teared. "But Jacob, I'm scared."
Jacob lifted her chin. "Don't be afraid. You'll be safe. God will protect us." He smiled and walked to the front of his family.
His eye twitched and his mouth tasted dry. He glanced at his brother. Please don't hurt my family. Jacob dropped to the ground and bowed seven times as he moved toward his brother, Esau.
He heard footstep running toward him. Jacob looked up and saw Esau with his arms open wide. "Jacob, Oh Jacob. How I've longed to see you. You are home at last."
Esau grabbed his brother and hugged him. The two brothers wept together. "Jacob, my brother, who are these women and children with you?"
Jacob stood tall, wiped his eyes, and laughed. "These, dear brother, are my children whom God has graciously given your servant." Jacob waved his family to come. Bilhah and Zilpah brought their children forward to bow before Esau. Next Leah brought her children forward to bow.
Jacob ran back to Rachel and Joseph. He gazed in her eyes. "It's OK. I'll walk with you. Come meet Esau." The three bowed down to respect Esau.
Esau shrugged his shoulders and pressed his hands forward. "Jacob what was the meaning of all the animals you sent before your family?"
I wish to find favor in your sight, my lord."
Esau shook his head. "No. I have enough. Keep what you have for yourself."
Jacob smiled. "Please, dear brother. If I have found favor in your sight, receive this present from my hand. I can't tell you how much it means to see you pleased with me. I ask you to take this blessing I give to you, because God has dealt graciously with me and because I have enough."
Esau stroke his beard and nodded. "Very well, I shall accept your gift." He reached out and gave Jacob another hug. "I've got a great idea."
Jacob stepped back a step and gazed into his brother's eyes. "What?"
"We could all travel back together. My men and I will go first to protect your family. What do say? Isn't it a great idea?"
Jacob looked back at his family. I'm not sure if I can trust him. He has four hundred men with him. Maybe he'll use this as an opportunity to attack my family.
He looked back at Esau. "My children are weak, and some of the young animals still nurse. If the men drive them too hard to keep up, they will die. You go ahead. I will lead at a pace which the livestock and children are able to endure until I meet up with you in Seir."
Esau's smile fell into disappointment. "What if I leave some of my men to help?"
Jacob sighed. "Dear brother, I've brought my family this far. You go. I'll meet you there."
Jacob's brother forgave him! Esau welcomed Jacob home with a hug! Did Jacob believe he was forgiven? Sometimes we don't believe God forgives us. How can this story help you? Click the comment button to tell us what you think.