…from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. (Genesis 32:13-15 ESV)
Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it. (Genesis 33:8-11 ESV)
Giving can often be hard. When you count out your money so that you have in your mind a particular total, it is easy to begin thinking of all the things that you might do with it. The idea of reducing the total in light of all your grand plans can be hard. Here Jacob sets out to give and is then given opportunity to keep it, but he doesn’t. What brings you to this attitude toward giving? Jacob expresses some keys for us. He says, “God has dealt graciously with me”. There is a recognition that what he has came by the Lord. There is no reason to think that the Lord will not continue to provide, especially when the Lord’s will is to be generous toward others (that is what He is toward us). To give is to acknowledge God as the provider in the first place and to trust God for future provision in the second.
Jacob also says, “and because I have enough.” There is a contentment that comes from knowing that what you have is what the Lord has given. Even more, Jacob has the blessing from God. This passage follows his wrestling match with the angel of the Lord. Assurance is God’s promise in the key to contentment.
Do you ever find it hard to give?
Thank the Lord for his generosity toward you.
Chronological Reading Plan plus Psalms: Ge 32-34, Ps 23