Genesis 32:12 "But you promised me, 'I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore---too many to count.' "
Jacob is returning to his homeland with his four wives, children, and a host of animals and shepherds. He has one big problem...his brother Esau lies in his way and the last time he saw Esau he had stolen his older brother's blessing by committing the first recorded incident of "identity theft". He knows that Esau has vowed to kill him and so this seems to be a good time for Jacob to claim God's promise that he will survive and thrive in the future. Jacob was a rascal...and Jacob was a sinner...but Jacob had learned a few things about hard work and patience and he also had come to experience God in a real and personal way. The inner voice of faith told him to proceed on the basis of the promises God had made. Perhaps this is good advice for us too. As we learn and find our way through life let's listen and gather the promises of God because the time will come when we will need to claim them as we head into unknown and threatening territory!