Explore the Bible
January 13 2018
Genesis 33:1-15 (HCSB)
During a Lord’s Supper service I preached on the need for reconciliation between God and man. During the invitation I watched as one young woman stepped into the aisle but instead of heading to the altar she headed toward the back of the church. She stopped and tapped another young woman on the shoulder. They briefly talked cried hugged and both headed toward the altar. They knelt and prayed with each other and then embraced again. Both went back and sat together. These two had been angry with each other to the point they didn’t talk or look at each other. Reconciliation involves risk humility and trust. This is an important part of spiritual maturity. This is the place we find Jacob.
Esau was coming toward Jacob and his entourage with a band of 400 men. Jacob organized his family and then went ahead of them. He bowed to the ground seven times before he approached Esau. Something extraordinary happened. Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced and kissed him and they both wept. Seeking forgiveness and reconciliation takes courage humility and trust in the Lord.
Esau wanted to know who were all the people with him. Jacob’s response was nothing short of a response of a man whom God had transformed as he answered “The children God has graciously given your servant” (Gen. 33:5). God’s covenant purpose for Jacob remained but Jacob was demonstrating a great degree of humility. Jacob had brought gifts for Esau to find favor with him but Esau declined them. Jacob convinced him to accept them. Jacob declined any assistance from Esau’s men to help Jacob continue on his journey. They agreed to part ways. They would meet again when they buried their father (Gen. 35:27-29).
True transformation is seen in approaching others with humility. Both parties must want to be restored. Future conflicts are minimized when boundaries are placed on relationships. We should reach out in love to those we have wronged and those who have wronged us.