As you fled for home, what was your mental resolution and why did you think there would still be bad blood between you and Esau?
There was tension and that’s one reason I fled (Genesis 31:1&2; 5) and also because of how I left (Genesis 31: 17-21) and I wasn’t sure Laban was going to be pleased (Genesis 31:23). However, I was unmoved because I was certain that I was right to leave (Genesis 31: 4-10; 31:3). My mind was made up to return and then there was the case of unfinished business back home. You know Esau had made a vengeful promise which was one human reason why I left in the first place (Genesis 27:41). I wasn’t sure he had forgiven me because as far as one can tell, it’s a hard thing to forget when your life was taken away from you (Genesis 27:36,40). That’s one reason I felt there would be bad blood but I’m grateful to GOD for wisdom (Genesis 32:4,813) and for the favour in forgiveness (Genesis 33:3-16). We should not be surprised when we see the good in people. We should expect that because GOD seeks to redeem, HE can also work on a man and woman to make them full of love when the world expects them to be enraged with great hate.
Your only daughter, Dinah, was raped. Why did you react in the way you did?
First of all, we were surrounded by foreigners: a people who had no value for what we valued. I tolled the line of peace and waited (Genesis 33: 18 & 19). I waited for my sons because The life of one member of the family is the life of all members of the family (Genesis 34:5). The rapist had acted on impulse (Genesis 34: 2) but he also expressed remorse (Genesis 34: 4, 6, 8-10; 11-12). However, remorse was not enough for my sons (Genesis 34: 13, 14, 15 31). Shechem, the lad in question, was willing to change his world view; he was willing to enter into covenant as we had (Genesis 34:19). I supported that. We should support people who are willing to be saved, who are keen on repentance and who wish to be born into a newness of life. What my sons did was injustice (Genesis 34: 25-29) and borne from untamed anger and the need to destroy. I did not approve of giving such an answer of violence and revenge (Genesis 34: 30; 26). In being children of GOD, we must suffer reproach and loss as long as it is to uphold the gain of GOD’s perfect Will. I counsel that we always give peace as an answer to violence. It serves as a lesson to us that our zeal must not be allowed to consume us; in all we do, we should put in mind that we carry a covenant of salvation and redemption as a blessing to the earth (Genesis 12:2; 22:17-18).
Let’s talk about Joseph, Jacob. Talk about him as your favourite and the stability of your emotions when he was not coming back to you; were you able to accept that as GOD’s Plan which you could not see the end of?
Joseph represents the first evidence of my love for Rachel (Genesis 30:24) and his birth also marked the consciousness to be liberated (Genesis 30: 25). Very special boy! He was honest (Genesis 37:2), he was my comfort for age (Genesis 37:3) and he was blessed with a great gift to see beyond the present and into the future (Genesis 37: 9-11). He was deserving of ever gift I gave to him (Genesis 37: 3b) so when I was told that he had been devoured (Genesis 37:33), I felt a part of me had been reaped away and my joy had been stolen (Genesis 37: 34). I didn’t see GOD’s plan in taking away my world and so I felt like death was my only escape from this life (Genesis 37:35). I think when we are overwhelmed by the issues of life, we should turn to the hope of life which lies beyond life, itself. We should hold on to the life which cannot be extinguished.