"Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid that he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children."
Jacob had good reason to fear Esau. Jacob had cheated him – twice! He had taken advantage of his hunger one time and forced him to sell his birth right – the right to a double share of the family inheritance – for a bowl of stew. The second time, in a more elaborate scam, Jacob pretended to be his brother and tricked their father, Isaac, into giving him a blessing. So everything Jacob feared when he was about to meet up with Esau after many years apart was his own fault.
But the Lord heard Jacob’s prayer, and He had Esau come not to kill him but to welcome him home. What a stunning picture of the grace of Christ which reconciles us with God and welcomes us home rather than meting out the punishment we deserve.
Jesus taught that we should not just hope for reconciliation, but work at it, especially when our sins make others angry. Because Christ has forgiven us – has already done the work for us – we can forgive others. We may not always reach reconciliation. But confident in the grace of Christ, we need not live in fear.
"HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT IT IS WHEN BROTHERS LIVE TOGETHER IN UNITY!"