Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; 2and when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called that place Mahanaim. 3Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have lived with Laban as an alien, and stayed until now; 5and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female slaves; and I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’“ 6The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies, 8thinking, “If Esau comes to the one company and destroys it, then the company that is left will escape.” (Genesis 32:1-8, NRSV)
Jacob thought his brother was going to seek retribution. Because last he had known, his brother wanted him dead. So Jacob was wise to divide his people. That way some of them might be saved.
What would you do if someone you knew wanted you dead was coming to see you with 400 men?
How can Jacob make this up to his brother?
How can we harm someone like that and then make them understand their repentance and forgiveness?
How do we live in a world where we are human and hurt others and still try to show the love God has for each and every one of us?