“And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.” (Genesis 33:9)
And Jacob said, “Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.” (Genesis 33:11)
The background on these verses is Jacob had stolen Esau’s birthright, because Esau was hungry and did not see the value of his birthright, being the firstborn. Jacob had also stolen Esau’s blessing by deceiving Isaac, their father. Esau said he would kill Jacob for stealing his father’s blessing, therefore Jacob fled to his uncle Laban’s house in Padan-aram (Genesis 28:2).
Jacob had been with Laban twenty years and was now going back to his father’s land as God had directed him (Genesis 31:3). To prepare for his meeting with Esau, Jacob gathered up a present of numerous animals to serve as a peace offering to Esau (Genesis 32:13-18). Genesis 33:1-20 records Jacob and Esau’s meeting after twenty years; God had preceded Jacob and had prepared Esau’s heart for their meeting (Genesis 33:4).
Esau asked Jacob in Genesis 33:8, “What meanest thou by all this drove which I met?” And Jacob said, “These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.”
Thus we have our text wherein Esau said to Jacob that he had “enough,” and then Jacob said, “…I have enough.” Esau viewed this whole matter strictly as a physical matter; a material matter of animals, etc. He told Jacob, I don’t need any more animals (goats, ewes, rams, camels, bulls, asses, and foals). This is the way of the carnal man. He views and measures need in light of material gain, and that was Esau’s problem when he despised his birthright, which had deep spiritual implications; but he wanted his “blessing” which he viewed as physical. He did not discern that this “blessing” was connected to the birthright.
So it is with the child of God that dwells in “The Wilderness” of fear, doubt, and unbelief. The children of Israel in the Wilderness had enough (water out of the Rock; manna from heaven; and shoes and clothes that did not wear out); or so they thought when presented with their inheritance, “Canaan Land.” Once they had spied out the Land of Canaan, their viewpoint was, we are but grasshoppers in their sight; there are giants living in that land; we have enough now, we don’t need to go over Jordan and fight for our inheritance.
Not Esau and not Israel in the Wilderness (except Joshua and Caleb) could discern what was “enough.” When you view and measure things by this world’s standard, then you discern you have enough when you don’t want any more material things at a certain given time (for the “eye is never satisfied”).
But Jacob viewed his “enough” by a different scale of measurement. True enough, both Esau and Jacob were talking of physical things as viewed in the “present” itself. But when you examine Jacob’s reasoning for presenting the gift (not the gift itself), it was from a spiritual perspective. Genesis 33:10 records Jacob as saying, “Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand.”
First, Jacob set the standard and it was grace, or mercy. If you are no longer my enemy; if you no longer want to kill me; then receive my present. It was not the nature or make up of the gift; but it was a token to Jacob that Esau had forgiven him, which is of a spiritual nature, and verse 10d says, “and thou wast pleased with me.”
Second, Jacob said, “for therefore (if you receive my present) I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.” Jacob had petitioned God to remember that God had commanded him to return unto his father’s land (Genesis 32:9) and that God would “deal well with thee (Jacob).” And in Genesis 32:12, he reminded God, “And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea…” But God, I am afraid of my brother Esau.
Therefore, if Esau received his present (not for material gain, but as a sign of forgiveness); then Jacob said, when I see your face of forgiveness, I will see God’s will being done; I will see God’s hand of protection and of assurance that He is a God of Covenant, a God of Promise, and will keep His Covenant and Promise with me.
So, when is enough? It is only enough when God’s Grace is in the midst of the matter. When God brings an individual to rest in Christ as Savior, that person is given enough. He is full of God’s Grace and has enough to give to others the fruits of God’s Grace.
The “present” was only a means to the end for Jacob. Jacob gave to Esau his heart of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22-23).
Then Esau accepted it and Jacob knew God was in the midst of this storm and had brought peace between them.
What are you giving away today? What is your present to the enemy? Remember it is not the quantity or the make up of the present; it is the quality of the motive behind the present.
God says, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)
When is enough? When God is in the midst of it; when you have a well that will never run dry – then give your enemy that Living Water; the Gospel of Christ; the Word of God. Give it for God’s Honor and Glory, and then you will have enough.