Genesis 32:1-21

Talks for Growing Christians

Jacob Prepares to Meet His Brother Esau

Genesis 32:1-21

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Lesson Number 73

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God takes care of His children by the means of guardian angels.
  2. God takes care of His children by the means of answered prayer.
  3. God takes care of His children by the means of common sense.

Practical Application

  1. What does God have to do to get us to pray?


  1. Of which nation did Esau become the father and founder?
  2. Why was Jacob afraid of Esau?
  3. Discuss the angels in this story.
  4. Discuss Jacob’s prayer.
  5. How did Jacob use common sense in this scenario?


  1. Edom
  2. Jacob had manipulated Esau into selling his birthright, and he had duped their father into giving him the patriarchal blessing. When they were about to meet after a span of twenty years, Jacob was afraid when he realized that Esau had a small army with him, and he remembered Esau’s threat to kill him.
  3. Jacob had seen the angels of God in his dream, and now he sees them again (Genesis 32:1-2). He saw not just a few, but a host of angels.
  4. In Genesis 32:9-12, we read about Jacob praying. He was praying out of fear and desperation. This is the first time we read about him praying. He prays a model prayer: he addresses God directly, he prays in humility, he prays specifically, and he prays on the basis of what God has already revealed.
  5. Besides praying, Jacob did a few other things before meeting Esau. He divided into two camps, placing others before his immediate family, and he sent presents in successive droves.


  1. What is the mission of angels? See Hebrews 1:14 and Matthew 18:10. Do you believe angels are ministering on your behalf today? Can you cite evidences?
  2. Jacob used common sense as he prepared to meet Esau. How have you used common sense in potentially dangerous situations?


  1. It took a life threatening situation for Jacob to pray. What does God have to do to get you to pray? When are you most apt to pray?

Key Verses

  • “Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.” Genesis 32:1
  • “Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed...” Genesis 32:7
  • “Jacob said, ‘Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother...” Genesis 32:11

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