Disarmed

Genesis 33:5-9
Main Verse: Genesis 33:9
by Brian Phillips

Reflection
Talk about sibling rivalry! Even while they were still in their mother’s womb, Jacob and Esau were going after it. So much so, Rebekah prayed to God, “What is going on?!” God replied that the twins in her womb were fighting, and would someday become rival nations.

Of course, Jacob’s shenanigans didn’t help matters.

Among other things, years later, Jacob tricks his father Isaac into giving him the blessing intended for his older brother, Esau. Esau is angered so much by this, he swears he will kill his younger brother. So Jacob flees.

Now, twenty years later, Jacob wants to return home. But, he still fears his brother. So, he sends a huge amount of gifts ahead of him to Esau, hoping to make peace. Unfortunately, he finds out that Esau has set out to meet him with four hundred soldiers in tow. Bad sign. Jacob assumes that Esau’s anger still burns. And he takes more countermeasures.

Jacob puts his entire family at the front of the procession, hoping that Esau will show them mercy. After all, blood is thicker than water, so the saying goes. And just for a little added assurance, Jacob takes a humble stance before his brother, and “bows low seven times” as he approaches him.

Apparently, it works.

Esau is overwhelmed with emotion. And Jacob by relief.

Yet, to make absolutely sure Esau doesn’t take revenge on him and his household, Jacob presents even more gifts to him. Esau refuses them, overjoyed that his brother has returned.

Food for Thought
I was in New York City recently, and invited a friend over for dinner with my sister and another couple. It was quite the eclectic crowd. My sister, friend and I were devout conservatives, while the other couple was extremelyliberal. Regardless, I had grown up with this couple, and loved them dearly.

Things were going fine, until a discussion ensued about the then current political administration. From the “stolen election” to the “poor economy,” my liberal friends went on a diatribe about how bad our president was. My friend could sit still no longer.

In the middle of an argument that no one was winning, I interrupted. I pointed out the truths in each party’s position, and stated that no administration could possibly be perfect. Man, by his very nature, is sinful. And, thus has selfish motives.

My friend later told my sister I had a knack for making peace.

So What Now?
Next time you find yourself at odds with someone, why don’t you try to disarm them, rather than dismember them?

Prayer
Lord, please give me the wisdom to know how to be a peacemaker. Amen.

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