Glorious Reunion

Genesis 33:1-20

Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.

Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, “Who are these people with you?”

“These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,” Jacob replied. Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him. Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him.

“And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked. Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.” “My brother, I have plenty,” Esau answered. “Keep what you have for yourself.”

But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift. (Genesis 33:4-11)

Reflect

Why did Jacob send gifts ahead for Esau? In Bible times, gifts were given for several reasons. This may have been a bribe, an expression of affection, or the customary way of greeting someone before an important meeting. Such gifts were often related to a person’s occupation. This explains why Jacob sent sheep, goats, and cattle to Esau, who was a herdsman. In any case, Jacob was probably seeking Esau’s favor and good will.

Esau, who once had actually plotted Jacob’s death (Genesis 27:41), greeted his brother with a hug. Esau had forgiven Jacob. Time away from each other allowed the bitter wounds to heal. With the passing of time, each brother was able to see that their relationship was more important than their real estate.Jacob must have been amazed to see Esau’s change of heart when the two brothers met again. We know how God changed Jacob, but he also must  have been working on Esau’s heart. Esau was no longer bitter over losing his birthright and blessing; instead, he had forgiven his brother and was content with what he had.

Respond

Life can bring us some bad situations. We can feel cheated, as Esau did, but we don’t have to remain bitter. We can remove bitterness from our lives by honestly expressing our feelings to God, forgiving those who have wronged us, and being content with what we have. Who do you need to forgive? What glorious reunion could be in store?

 

 

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FALLING IN LOVE WITH JESUS

Psalm 63
When we fall in love, we want to spend time with the object of our affection and willingly give our attention to the relationship. Falling in love with Jesus should be no different, but believers often hurry through Bible reading and prayer. The result is a superficial faith kept alive by habit rather than worship. To attain lasting intimacy, we must approach God with a sense of purpose and determination.

Continue reading “FALLING IN LOVE WITH JESUS”

RESISTING COMPROMISE

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23 GNT).
Concession begins in a seemingly insignificant way. For instance, someone might want you to make a financial decision that you know in your heart is unwise. But you go along with the plan because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. You have compromised the message of the Holy Spirit, who warned you.
Small compromises lead to more serious ones. With each successive concession, our conscience is weakened. Ultimately, whenever we give way to evil—whether we let go of a doctrinal belief or simply listen to music that taints our thoughts—we always lose.
We compromise for a variety of reasons. Many do so from a fear of rejection or of being unappreciated. Some choose this route to avoid conflict. Still others may begin to doubt God’s trustworthiness or goodness; as a result, they give up on Him, compromising their basic beliefs and undermining their reason for assurance.
To be men and women who are strong enough to resist making concessions, we need to develop some essential armor. First, we must have strong convictions about the Bible and depend on it as a guide for daily living. Next, we need to have faith in God’s promise to supply all of our needs. Finally, we must find the courage to trust in Him, even when we are misunderstood, persecuted, or falsely accused. When we surrender our life to God, He replaces enslavement to compromise with security in Him.

Source: In Touch Ministries.
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