READING: Genesis 30-33
“Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. Then they wept.”
Years had passed. Decades even. The brothers Jacob and Esau had separated, with Jacob’s fleeing at his mother’s command after Esau threatened to kill him for stealing their father’s blessing. What was intended to be “a few days” away (Gen. 27:44) actually became twenty years before the brothers would meet again.
What Jacob could not know was whether Esau would harm him when they met. Thus, he paved the way by sending word to Esau: “I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female slaves. I have sent this message to inform my lord, in order to seek your favor” (Gen. 32:5). Fear struck Jacob, though, when he learned that Esau was coming to him with 400 men by his side. Knowing God’s promise of offspring for him, he sought God’s shield from his brother: “Please rescue me from my brother Esau, for I am afraid of him; otherwise, he may come and attack me, the mothers, and their children” (Gen. 32:11).
It’s the response of Esau that most grabs my heart today, though. He ran to his brother, “hugged him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him” (Gen. 33:4). The brothers wept together as years of separation caused by sin melted away. The past was the past, and the present was a new day. Grace wiped out the yesterdays.
I wonder, in fact, if Jesus’ hearers might have thought of this story when He years later told about a father’s rejoicing over his prodigal son’s return. I know for certain that I think of both stories today in gratitude for the way God welcomed me home when He made me His child.
- If you are separated from a friend or loved one today, pray for godly reconciliation.
- Thank God for the way He forgives us and throws His arms around us in love.
PRAYER: “Father, thank You for forgiving me. I do not deserve Your love.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Genesis 34-37