As Jacob approached the land of Edom, he was met by angels of the Lord. Bolstered with this support, he sent messengers to meet with his brother, Esau. He instructed them to express humility and seek favor with Esau.
When the messengers returned, they informed Jacob that Esau was coming to meet him with about four hundred men. Thinking the worst, Jacob prepared for the meeting by dividing the people, flocks and herds into two groups. He thought if Esau attacked one group, the other might have an opportunity to escape.
Then Jacob prayed. He admitted to God that he was afraid. He also admitted that he wasn’t worthy of the blessings God had provided to him. It was a sleepless night for Jacob as he struggled with his fear and with God over his fate. At the end of the struggle, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Unknown to Jacob, at the time, his descendants would be known as Israelites—a nation which God wanted to become a God-fearing example to all other nations. [Reflection based on the Bible Reference – Genesis 32:1-28]