Daring travel, midnight maneuvers, risky meetings, brothers reunited, a sister attacked, a city killed and plundered – say what you want about the Bible but it is definitely not boring.
Jacob went to some great lengths to ingratiate himself to Esau. For the brother with the birthright and the blessing, the one with promise to rule over Esau, he sure seemed scared of his brother. Surprisingly, Esau shows the kind of character we would expect of God’s preferred. Just shows once again that God does not chose his people because of our greatness. His elect are elect to bring him honor, not because they are so great or holy people.
One questioned is answered in all this. Where did the people of the Old Testament get their name? It came from Jacob’s midnight wrestling match with one who seems to be God himself (or maybe another Christophany?). And what a fitting name, both for Jacob and his descendants, “he who struggles with God”! That seems the central characteristic of these people, as a whole – they continually struggle with God and against his ways. They are definitely not weak or timid folk, though.