Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16 (NIV)
One of the things that has always drawn me to the Bible is its ability to be so open about the characters that have a less than stellar reputation. The story of Jacob and Esau is one of those stories. Deceit, not just by Jacob but also by Rebekah in deceiving an ailing and blind father. The tradition of birthright thrown aside for greed and status.
If anyone had good reason to hold a grudge, it would be Jacob’s brother, Esau. Jacob cheated Esau out of his birthright and his blessing; then he fled because Esau planned to kill him as soon as their father, Isaac, died.
Years later, after they both had wives and children, they met again, but Jacob was terrified that Esau still wanted to kill him. He sent messengers and lavish gifts ahead of him, hoping to appease his brother. But he need not have worried. As Jacob bowed before his brother, “Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.” Jacob responded, “To see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favourably.”
If we have also read the previous chapter, Jacob’s response may remind us that Jacob had just had an experience of seeing God face to face. Now Jacob saw a reflection of God in Esau through their reconciliation.
Father, thank you for reconciling the world to yourself in Christ. Thank you for making us Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation. Help me to reconcile today with anyone who has hurt me. In Jesus, Amen.