Main Verse: Genesis 33:9
by Brian Phillips
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
One year, I was in New York City having dinner with my sister and and some friends. It was quite the eclectic crowd. Three of us were devout conservatives, while the others were extremely liberal. I had grown up with one couple, who were on the liberal side of the fence, 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. And, one of our conservative friends 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.
Later, after things settled down, one of the friends 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?
Lord, please give me the wisdom to know how to be a peacemaker. Amen.