1 Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. 2 Jacob said when he saw them, “This is God’s1camp.” So he named that place 2Mahanaim.
3 Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He also commanded them saying, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: `Thus says your servant Jacob, “I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now; 5 I have oxen and donkeys and flocks and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight.”‘”
6 The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies; 8 for he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape.”
9 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 relatives, and I will prosper you,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. 11 “Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. 12 “For You said, `I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.'”
Jacob is a little freaked out here. He knew God would protect him from Laban, since Laban had done nothing but cheat him for twenty years. But when it came to Esau, Jacob was the one who had done the cheating, and he wasn’t quite sure that God would protect him from Esau’s revenge. Jacob forgot a couple things, and even though he is talking to God in the later verses, he’s actually reminding himself of what God promised: to prosper him, and protect him. God needs no reminders, but it never hurts to remind ourselves of what God has promised, so that we can place all our trust in Him.