“Esau, An Example Of Forgiveness!”(Gen.33:1-16).
Home is the place to be, because home is best. I recall the Africans who were conscripted to fight in a war that was in every way serving European interests only. These fathers took as marching song, “Home, again again. When shall I see my home? When shall I see my native land, I will never forget my home…”
Such was the longing for home that Jacob had after several years in self-imposed exile!
Jacob cunningly stole Esau’s birthright with a dish of porridge and with the connivance of their mother he again stole Esau’s blessings. Yet we kind of take it to be alright in considering him one of the patriarchs and not his brother Esau.
Jacob was a self-centered manipulator. While in exile he played around with his uncle’s animals to his own advantage. He married two sisters and also slept with their maids. But he was still the favoured of God.
In Jacob we see how God’s choice defies human understanding. And if truth be told, the world is full of Jacobs, gaining the applause of the majority at the expense of well-intentioned Esaus!
Like we were saying, it was time for Jacob to return to homeland because home is home. But you know what? “The guilty are afraid!” Before his departure for the homeward journey he divided his property and people into two groups since he feared that his brother Esau may want to settle scores with him.
Even in pre-departure he prayed inter-alia, “…Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me…”(Gen.32:11).
And this is the problem about perception: the way we see, analyse and interpret situations.
The perception of the guilty is that the other person still holds grudges of past hurts and is planning revenge.
And this is where we see the internal beauty of the heart of Esau. Having been told that his brother was coming home, he went out with four hundred of his men to meet with his brother. The four hundred men was for the purpose of protecting his brother from hostile enemies, but his brother saw the four hundred men as coming to attack him. Oh, how the guilty are afraid!
Jacob the manipulator even at this moment never ceased from manipulating. He kept calling his brother, “my lord,” but he still wasn’t sure that his brother had forgiven him. He divided his family and preserved the best at the tail-end! In his mind, if Esau should attack and kill his family, at least there should be time enough for his beloved Rachel and Joseph to be saved!
God may have favoured Jacob, but he also favoured Esau. Without manipulation, Esau had as much as what Jacob had through manipulation.
Dear friend, broken relationships must be mended. When you come to the reconciliatory table do not come with manipulative intentions! Do not seek to buy or placate the other person with gifts. Do not be suspicious. Do not doubt the other person. Come with the readiness for “genuine reconciliation and forgiveness.”
This is what the Lord Jesus Christ means by “unless you forgive your brother from your heart.(Mt.18:35).
Esau is a true example of forgetting past hurts and building a harmonious future.
Prayer of the day and week: Holy Spirit give me the heart of Esau that forgets all thevl past hurts of Jacob. Amen!
Welcome back to a new working day and week! Have a blessed working day and week! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.