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I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies. —Genesis 32:10

Read Genesis 32:1-12

As Jacob continued travelling to Canaan, the prospect of meeting Esau caused great anxiety. But the Lord gave Jacob “Mahanaim” to strengthen his faith, where the sight of two legions of angels reassured him that he was surrounded by God’s favour.

In spite of these encouragements and signs from God, fear paralyzed Jacob’s heart when he heard that Esau was approaching with a band of four hundred men. The fearful Jacob was also weak and suspicious. How could this be? We must realize that faith in action is not something that God’s people experience at all times; they cannot produce faith within themselves. Faith only becomes active through the work of the Holy Spirit. When God’s children look to themselves in difficult circumstances, it will only result in unbelief. Jacob was very afraid when he looked at his circumstances, but he cried out unto the Lord in his distress and very honestly told Him his need: “Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother…, for I fear him” (v.11).

Jacob began to plead the promises God had given him, not as though he had a right to them, but as an unworthy sinner. “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shown unto thy servant” (v.10). In his pleading there was thankfulness and humility. God gave Jacob His peace, which enabled him to appease Esau by meeting his brother as a servant approaches his master. Jacob became the least and al-lowed Esau to be the greater. And yet, of course, the older would serve the younger.

What does it mean to plead God’s promises?


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