a. Esau runs. Now if Jacob’s fears were correct, Esau would be running to meet him with sword drawn and rage in his eyes. The four hundred men would secure Esau’s ability to exact revenge. But we read something quite different and surprising here. “Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Was this Esau’s intent all along? The messengers that spoke to Esau and Jacob both believed that the 400 men were not there to bring gifts or had come out merely as an escort of a tribal leader. They believed Esau was there to kill everyone and that is why Jacob was so greatly afraid and distressed. But instead, Esau does not even say a harsh word. Is this the same man that we have read about before? Why the sudden change? Jacob says in verse 11, “God has dealt graciously with me.” The answer for the change is the grace of God. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Esau had a plan. Esau’s stated will was to destroy Jacob. Jacob had a plan as well. But God made both their plans come to nothing. That is what God does. This is his world, his time, his creation and he upholds the universe by the power of his word. The bending of Esau’s will and the change of his heart by God should not surprise us. b. Children graciously given. After the two hug and weep together, Esau looks around and sees Jacob’s wives and children. Esau asks, “Who are these with you?” Jacob’s response: “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Now, Jacob could have said that he worked 14 years to get the wives that gave him these children. He could have complained about the bickering and complaining and dishonoring of his wives, but he does not. He says that his children were given to him by God as an unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. This is the right way to look at children. Psalm 127 says that the fruit of the womb is a reward and 128 says that they are a blessing of God. Those of us that have children don’t deserve them. We as a church do not deserve the many children that are sitting in the pews or are playing in the nursery. I make no apologies for the time I spend working with the children and the youth of our church. They are an undeserved gift and not things to be tolerated. I pray that the children will be like olive shoots around the table of our church. c. The gift. After Esau meets his sisters-in-law and his nephews and niece he asks about all the animals that Jacob had sent the day before. Jacob honestly answers, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” The gift was his attempt at seeking reconciliation. It was appeasement. But Esau rejects the gift and says that he has enough and doesn’t need to be appeased. And so we find that it was not the gift that changed the heart of Esau. Jacob then changes the nature of the gift. If the gift was not the reason that Esau is looking favorably toward him then Jacob wants him to just accept the animals as a present as a token of friendship and love. He says that seeing Esau’s face was like seeing the face of God. This has been interpreted in various ways. It could mean that Jacob is saying that I have seen you at peace with me like I seek peace with God. Or it could mean that Jacob sees God’s graciousness in Esau’s response or it could mean that seeing Esau’s face and finding acceptance and surviving is an undeserved favor like seeing God’s face and surviving. Whatever his intent, Jacob presses Esau to take the gift and he finally agrees. Again we must take note of the change in Jacob. The early stories of Jacob were all about how he preyed on his brother’s weakness and how he stole the blessing. And now he bows before him and offers a gift of kindness. Holiness is at work in him. Like all of us, Jacob’s sanctification was not perfected until God called him.