Fury Turned Away? #4

Sunday, October 15, 2017

And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day? (Genesis 27:44,45 KJV).

How does this “fury” compare to Almighty God’s anger?

Jacob took precautions in the event that Esau was still holding a grudge after all those years. He sent a delegation seeking peace with Esau. Upon learning Esau was approaching with a massive crowd, Jacob divided his caravan (if Esau attacked one segment, the other could escape unharmed). Jacob prayed, and also sent a present of livestock. In spite of all that, their mother’s plan in today’s Scripture was effectual.

Esau refused Jacob’s gift because he was wealthy enough himself. Genesis 33:4 again: “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” Esau actually did not follow through with his plan to murder his younger brother Jacob. What was the overriding factor? The passage of time had assuaged Esau’s intense fury.

Our anger, human fury, is fickle—it comes and goes. The more we promise to retaliate, and the more time that passes that we do not act, the less likely we will do something with full force as originally promised. This is typical human nature (as we know from personal experience), and it gives us insight into the Apostle Peter’s final epistle, which we briefly examined in an earlier study.

Notice chapter 1 of 2 Peter, verse 16: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Why would Peter say “we have not followed cunningly devised fables [tales of fantasy and fiction designed to deceive]?” He was answering the Bible scoffers referred to in chapter 3! These mockers were confusing God’s wrath with man’s wrath. God keeps His promises, no matter how extreme they are, or how long He takes to fulfill them….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do angels age?

Fury Turned Away? #3

Saturday, October 14, 2017

And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day? (Genesis 27:44,45 KJV).

How does this “fury” compare to Almighty God’s anger?

Jacob, over 20 years after fleeing Esau’s angry face, returns to Canaan. Genesis chapter 32: “[3] And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. [4] And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: [5] And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.” Jacob, remembering Esau’s bitterness and fury long ago, seeks his favor.

“[6] And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. [7] Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; [8] And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.”

Esau replies by coming with an “army” of 400 men! Jacob is terrified and troubled. Evidently, Esau has not forgiven him! Jacob prays (verses 9-12) and then he sends Esau a present of hundreds of various livestock (verses 13-19). Verse 20: “And say ye [to Esau] moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him [Esau] with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure [perhaps] he will accept of me.”

Chapter 33, verse 3: “And he [Jacob] passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. [4] And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.Time has caused Esau’s wrath to pass….

Fury Turned Away? #2

Friday, October 13, 2017

And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day? (Genesis 27:44,45 KJV).

How does this “fury” compare to Almighty God’s anger?

We read today’s Scripture in context: “[41] And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. [42] And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. [43] Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; [44] And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; [45] Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?”

Earlier in the chapter, Rebekah and son Jacob connived to have him get his father Isaac’s blessing rather than brother Esau. Of course, upon hearing what happened, Esau is outraged, inconsolable, and bloodthirsty. He actually vows to take Jacob’s life! Wise Rebekah reasons that, if she can send Jacob away for a time, Esau will calm down and back down from his resolution to kill Jacob. In chapter 28, Jacob escapes to Rebekah’s family in Mesopotamia (to the east of Canaan) to find a wife.

Fast-forward 21 years—yes, two decades have elapsed since Jacob escaped to Haran. Returning to Canaan, he meets brother Esau. Has their mother Rebekah’s plan worked? At this point, has Esau’s “fury turned away?” Has his “anger turned away” from his younger brother Jacob? Does Esau still harbor resentment? Will he slay Jacob as he intended all those years earlier? Dear friends, let us see what happens to man’s wrath….