Peter Barnes: Genesis 33
SERMON NOTES : BURYING THE HATCHET (Genesis 33)
Verses 1-11 tell of the reconciliation between the two brothers, and verses 12-20 tell of their going their separate ways.
- Be gentle and fearless.
– 33:1-3; the moment that Jacob had both dreaded and longed for was drawing near. Jacob is fearless and gentle and respectful. See 1 Samuel 26:18-20; Prov.15:1.
– Jacob is courtesy personified – 33:8. Contrast Gen.32:16-21 (in the rear) and Genesis 33:3 (at the front).
- Celebrate peace in the family.
– 33:4. One Jewish midrash changes ‘he kissed him’ to ‘and he bit him’! Luther, on the other hand, was so moved by this that he thought that Esau had been converted.
– there is such a thing as common grace – Acts 28:1-10. Note Proverbs 16:7.
– Esau wept; he was genuinely moved at seeing Jacob after all these years – 33:5-11. Jacob had wrestled with the God-man all night (32:30), and now he says that seeing Esau reconciled with him is like seeing the face of God (33:10)!
- We still struggle with the old nature.
– If unbelievers are often not as bad as they might be, believers are often not as good as they ought to be.
– 33:12-18. Jacob says that he will head south, but goes north to Succoth and Shechem, where he ends out. This is presumably Jacob’s well – John 4:5-6. James 5:12 and Rom.7:15.
– he erects an altar – 33:19-20. He needs one, we all do.