In this story, Jacob is on the border of his home country, hoping to enter his brother’s territory without conflict. He knows he doesn’t deserve Esau’s mercy, but is received with open arms. In the bible, a new name is a symbol for a big transformation in someone’s character, life circumstance, or status. I wonder what changed for Jacob when he received the gift of mercy. Maybe he became more merciful himself. Maybe that gift compelled him to be more empathetic or kind or accepting.
When has someone shown you kindness or forgiveness when you least deserved it? How did that act affect you? How does this compare the gift of mercy offered in Jesus Christ?
Offer a prayer of confession for those times when you have fallen short of the glory of God and find assurance in the promise of forgiveness.