Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions


Title:  Mahanaim

Reading for January 11:  Genesis 32-34

Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, "This is God's camp!" So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
Genesis 32:1

The name Mahanaim means "two camps." Why did Jacob name that place "two camps?" It may be because this was the second place where Jacob was met by angels. The first time was when he left his home and saw the vision of angels ascending and descending upon a ladder (Genesis 28). If you remember, Jacob named that place Bethel, which means "house of God." It could be that he is calling this place "two camps" because this was the second camp of God's he had met.

After dividing his family and herds into two camps, Jacob prays to God for protection, acknowledging that while he had left his home and crossed the Jordan with only his staff, he was now returning with two camps. And then he appeals to God based on the promise made to him at Bethel. Jacob prays, "But you said, 'I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'" (Gen 32:12)

If this interpretation is correct, the naming of the place Mahanaim reveals the fact that his being made into "two camps" was the direct result of God's blessing and of his utter dependence upon God's protection.

Father, help us to see, like our father Jacob, that you have commanded your angels to protect and minister to us in our greatest times of need.