Jacob had to go somewhere so he is now on the way back home to his promise land.
Jacob was probably one of the most smartest people in the field of human nature who ever lived.
"Well he'd never fool me!"
These angels were sent by God to Jacob to make him conscious of the heavenly presence and to assure him of divine protection.
The mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire or angelic beings who were assigned by God to protect His people.
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits [angels], sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
PSA 91:11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, Lest you strike your foot against a stone.
Though invisible under normal conditions, God's angels are none the less real and powerful.
They are called "mighty angels", 2Th 1:7, that "excel in strength" and "obey His word", Psa 103:20, and they are "sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation", Heb 1:14.
Mahanaim means two camps or encampments which means that Jacob is recognizing that the angels had been there with him all the time even though he could not see them.
God gave him another revelation to strengthen his faith and inspire him with courage because what was waiting before him was a meeting with Esau and his four hundred men.
Although it may appear as we face these different tests that God is against us, as we continue in the plan that He has appointed for us, He will encourage us through the communication of doctrine.
ROM 8:31-32, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
Jacob is returning from his long time away from being in the wrong place, to the land given to his fathers and later to himself by Jehovah.
When Jacob comes back, he brings a lot of wounds and scars with him including four wives and eleven children.
God sent these angels of His in advance to welcome his servant home, and to express to him His goodwill.
Jacob's two great enemies and opponents were Laban and Esau, one outside the promise land, one within.
This typifies the believer's struggles against the world and his own flesh.
1JO 2:15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1JO 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
His mother had told him she would send for him as soon as the wrath of Esau had cooled down in Gen 27:45.
Jacob had never heard from his mother Rebecca during the twenty long years spent in Padan-aram.
"This is God's army!"
GEN 32:2 And Jacob said when he saw them, "This is God's camp" meaning God's army ---- So he named that place Mahanaim.
Mahanaim means God's place or God's army.
Prin: Jacob knew that he was being guarded not only by his own small army but also by God's infinitely more numerous and powerful army.
Jacob has been in the wrong geographical location for the past twenty years and he has been out of the will of God, therefore these angels met him to assure him of the divine presence of God being with him.
By sight, the odds seem to be overwhelming and it will look like Jacob is going to be destroyed by the 400 man army of Esau.
2CO 4:18 "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2CO 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight‑‑"
PSA 139:7-8, "Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou art there."
JER 23:23 "Am I a God who is near, declares the Lord, And not a God far off?"1
JER 23:24 "Can a man hide himself in hiding places, So I do not see him?" declares the Lord. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord."
Prin-Jacob was now in the path of obedience and therefore God gave a revelation to strengthen his faith and inspire him with courage because what was waiting before him was a meeting with Esau and his four hundred men.
Bethel means the "house of God."
Before he can meet God in Bethel, known as the house of God, he must first be reconciled with his brother Esau.
Prin-Before a believer can ever meet God in Bethel, the house of God, and that's through doctrine, he cannot have any bitterness or revenge or hatred in his heart for anyone.
LUK 6:37 "And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.
EPH 4:32 And be kind to one another, tender‑hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
He is returning back to the land and he remembers the last time he saw Esau twenty years ago, when Esau was breathing out threatenings against him.
Jacob says for his servants to call Esau 'My lord Esau.' Then he has them refer to himself as "his servant Jacob."
He had manipulated Esau for the birthright and had stolen the blessing.
He had been a deceiver and an imp but now his talk is different.
He's still relying on human power and human gimmicks....he's still operating like a phony!
When you speak truth make sure it is based upon EPH 4:15 but speaking the truth in love,
When you speak truth make sure it is based upon passages like PRO 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
Make sure you operate in passages like PRO 17:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.
Or in PRO 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
1PE 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
GAL 4:16 Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Phonies don't operate in PRO 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.
"Well the angels of God are with me, my brother Esau better not even think about messing around with me!"
Prin-Jacob's mind did not dwell on God, instead he remembers Esau's threat to kill him and therefore he decided to use some human viewpoint solutions to solve his problems.
The mention of his wealth was intended to imply that he no longer wanted anything from Esau!
The messengers returned with terrible news according to Jacob's thinking.
Jacob had just escaped from one company of his enemies, Laban and his family, now another was advancing to meet him, namely, Esau with his four hundred men.
When he learned of Jacob's approach toward Canaan, he therefore assembled an army of his own and marched forward to meet Jacob, prepared for whatever eventuality might come.
The real problem here is not that Esau is coming with 400 men, the real problem is that Jacob's mind is racing in many different directions and he is filled with fear!
Fear is a mental attitude sin, characterized by panic when in a dangerous situation.
For the believer, fear is the result of failure to learn and apply Bible doctrine to the problems of life, and failure to learn and utilize the problem solving devices.
Fear is a whole system of sins which include worry, anxiety, and insecurity.
When you have a point of doctrine, you can say as David did when facing Goliath, "The battle is the Lord's," 1Sa 14:47.
1TI 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
1TI 1:16 And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
The Bible does not hesitate to tell us the very worst about its heroes so that we may better magnify the grace of God out of which trophies of mercy are created.
This is why we have the failures of the writers of Scripture recorded for us as Rom 15:4; 1Co 10:6; 10:11; Heb 4:11-13.
1CO 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
HEB 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.
True courage means sound judgment, thinking under pressure, and good judgment at all times.
1Jo 4:18 "Fear does not exist in virtue-love, but virtue-love drives out fear; for fear causes punishment. In fact, the person who is afraid has not been matured by virtue-love."
If you have personal love for God the Father and you understand His integrity, you don't need to claim specific promises for every situation, you simply just need to rest on the divine essence that He possesses and His integrity as God.
Once you have virtue-love, you're not afraid of anything whereby you need promises, for now you know the One who makes the promises.
JOH 15:16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you!
PSA 11:7 For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness;
PSA 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice;
Prin-All losers and winners have the perfect righteousness of God given to them at the moment of salvation and God's loves His righteousness.