1/31 Genesis 32:9-10

9 And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, 'Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,' 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.

Jacob received the report that Esau and four hundred men were on their way to meet him. His last word from Esau, twenty years earlier, was that Esau would kill him. Jacob divided up his family and flocks into three groups. He sent the first group ahead hoping that if it was attacked, the other group would escape. As a last resort, he prayed, and his prayer showed that his heart was changing.

He began by acknowledging the God of his fathers as the LORD. Remember that when he left his home, he was trying to make a deal with God. "If you will bless me and bring me back safely, then the LORD will be my God." Well, he's not back yet, and he is acknowledging the LORD as God. Then he reminds God of the word that God spoke to him. He is putting faith in that word. An even more promising expression is that he sees how unworthy he has been of even the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and faithfulness shown to him. He saw how God had kept His word to bless him. It is the first time one of the patriarchs used the phrase, "steadfast love and faithfulness", to describe God's goodness, and it will be used throughout the rest of the Old Testament.

Jacob now calls himself a servant of the LORD. Fear of death has a way of humbling us to face reality. The proud and cocky schemer is a humbled man who is hoping in the word of God. He will still lean on his own cunning, sending gifts to Esau to soften him up, but his heart is beginning to look to the LORD in humility.

Consider: Where are you in your spiritual journey? Have you considered all the deeds of steadfast love and faithfulness of God toward you? Do you see how unworthy you are to receive it? Are you relying on your cunning or on the Word of the LORD? Have you recognized that you are a servant of your Creator?