Daily Word

Angels of encouragement | Genesis 32:1-5

1 Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. 2 And when he saw them, Jacob said, “This is God’s camp.” So he named that place Mahanaim.

3 Then Jacob sent messengers ahead of himself to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He commanded them, saying, “This is what you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says the following: “I have resided with Laban, and stayed until now; 5 and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants; and I have sent messengers to tell my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.”’”

Genesis 32:1-5 (NASB)

Hello Esau

Yesterday, we said “goodbye” to Laban. Today we get ready to say “hello” to Esau. You remember Esau is Jacob’s brother…that he cheated out of his birthright and blessing! He has to have a little fear and trepidation as he prepares to cross the Jordan river and meet Esau. He hopes for a happy reunion but plans for the worst.

Angels of encouragement

As he sets out, angels (not just one) meet him on the way. The text indicates a “camp” of angels. It’s like Jacob has his camp and God provided another camp. There is no interaction or message communicated. Yet there is a message: “We are with you and will protect you…as happened with Laban just last week.” In the context of this next fear, this camp of angels would bolster his faith and give courage to press on. This is in addition to the successful resolution to the situation with Laban yesterday.

Message of peace

How does Jacob address this situation? Should he just stick his head in the sand and hope it doesn’t happen? Should he take the initiative to attack Esau and catch him off guard? Maybe he should make a beeline to mom and dad to seek cover. No. He decides to face the fear head on. He sends a formal greeting to his brother humbly telling where he’s been, what he’s been up to, and his acquired wealth. But Jacob does not attribute the success to the Lord!


  • “Our Mahanaims occur at much the same time as that in which Jacob beheld this great sight. Jacob was entering upon a more separated life. He was leaving Laban and the school of all those tricks of bargaining and bartering which belong to the ungodly world.” (Spurgeon) What is the encouragement God is sending you as you embark on a new journey that He has called you to? It may be angels. I could be special people or circumstances of blessing. It could also be trials to keep you humble, to cause you to cry out to Him and be changed into His image.
Angel warriors of protection. Image from Pxfuel.com

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