"A Lesson on Forgiveness"
BIBLE READING: Genesis 32-34
We are a funny group of people. We sure are happy. We sue for everything from a hot cup of coffee to hurt feelings. Forgiveness has become a lost art. Now everything is about revenge, getting even, making someone pay. Sadly enough, it’s drifted from the secular world into churches today. When we should love, we are often bitter. As we continue in our journey through the scriptures, I think that we will find the awesome power of forgiveness in today’s text. In Genesis 32 we find Jacob preparing to meet his brother Esau. How scared Jacob had to be! He had tricked his brother Esau and deceived him. He had received birthrights that rightfully belonged to Esau. When this happened, he fled! He fled because he was afraid Esau would kill him. He just knew at that time that if Esau found him, he was done for! Put yourself in Esau’s shoes. How would you have reacted? We would all love to say that we would have let bygones be bygones. But you know what? We don’t really do that a whole lot. We hold grudges. We don’t talk to each other. There are people within the church (even one as close knit as ours) who don’t talk or communicate because of something that happened years ago and they can’t even remember what it was! Think about it. Even if we were in Jacob’s shoes, we would have feared the worst because we know what we would do if we were Esau. But then look what happens in Genesis 33; Esau has taken the high road and forgiven Jacob. Friends, that is exactly how God is! He doesn’t hold the past against us. He runs to meet us and then welcomes us home, just as in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15). What is it you are afraid that God won’t forgive? Trust me, He will. He loves you and just like Esau was with Jacob, God longs to welcome you back.