Scripture Read: Genesis 33 - 35
Title: The Joy of Forgiveness
(H) Highlight verse:: "But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept..'" Genesis 33:4
(E) Explain: The last time Jacob and Esau were under one roof it was a VERY tense situation. Maybe that is putting it a little lightly. The last time the two brothers were together Esau wanted to kill his brother. If you remember Jacob deceived his father (with the help of his mother) into passing along the blessing (that belonged to Esau to him by pretending he was Esau. Prior to this Jacob tricked Esau into selling him his birthright for a bowl of stew. To say that the brothers had a love/hate… mostly hate relationship would be putting it bluntly.
Now is the moment of truth… Esau is coming with his 400 men. Jacob’s mind is racing. What is Esau going to do? Will God really protect him? Did he send enough gifts to appease Esau’s anger?
Esau’s response was not what Jacob was expecting. Jacob was cautiously going to his brother in humility, reverence and fear. However Esau runs out and embraces and kisses him. They wept together and no words are spoken. Forgiveness happens first then they speak.
(A) Application: The key theme of this account is forgiveness. Forgiving someone who has wronged or hurt you is probably one of the most difficult things to do in life. However, we see in this wonderful story of how two brothers who were once at war with each other are now reconciled. Jacob seeks forgiveness, Esau gives forgiveness and Jacob receives it. I think giving and receiving forgiveness comes easy to some and for others with great difficulty. Giving and receiving forgiveness go hand in hand.
Since I am a follower of Jesus Christ I know what it is like to receive forgiveness. I have received the ultimate pardon of sin through faith in Jesus Christ. Because of his sacrifice I have received forgiveness
(R) Respond: God, may I seek forgiveness from anyone I have wronged? May I receive forgiveness from anyone who will give it? May I give forgiveness to those who have wronged me? May I never forget the power of forgiveness?
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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