SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- If you've been following this reading plan, do you remember all the livestock and gifts Jacob had sent to his brother Esau to earn favor in his eyes? Notice the warm embrace Esau now gives Jacob. There were many reasons for Esau to be mad at Jacob and no one would have blamed him for holding a grudge. However, Esau forgives his brother and embraces him like long loss family.
- But notice that Jacob still didn’t trust Esau (or God’s protection) and went elsewhere to set up house. This will be fleshed out more later.
- Esau had many legitimate reasons to be mad at his brother but he wasn’t. God had blessed both brothers as he promised and Esau didn’t take the gifts offered to him until Jacob insisted. In the same way, we probably have people who we can legitimately hold a grudge against. But we shouldn't. God calls us to forgive. Not to say that what happened is ok, but to give up our right to be bitter and want revenge.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Do you have anyone you need to forgive today? Bitterness can eat us away from the inside out. Ask God to help you be quick to forgive.
- Do you need to ask forgiveness? Then don’t wait. Your apology could mean a lot more than you will ever know.