Genesis 33:1,4: “Now Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and there, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants . . . But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”

July 17th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

In the chapter before, we left Jacob crossing the river as the sun began to rise. And as he did, his brother Esau, with 400 men, appeared on the horizon. A confrontation between the younger brother who had tricked the older brother, creating almost two decades of bad blood, was about to take place. Jacob had finally returned in obedience to God’s leading. Recognizing that he had earned his brother’s wrath, he clearly knew he was in danger of being physically attacked. As Jacob went out to meet his brother, he bowed repeatedly to the ground in an unmistakable sign of his newly found humility. At this very dramatic moment something completely unexpected occurred. Instead of taking vengeance, the older brother did as God does—he forgave.

On this occasion, Esau acted more like Father God than perhaps at any other time in his life. To forgive another is to be like God. The only time in Scripture we find Father God in a hurry is in the parable Jesus told of the prodigal son. You remember the story of the wasteful son, who is an obvious picture of us. He had squandered all of his inheritance; and when he came back home, he came back just as Jacob did. He came back with the hope that he could be a servant. But the father’s response in Jesus’ story was as unexpected as Esau’s reaction here. The father rushed to his son to extend him forgiveness. Esau also put the past behind him and ran to meet his brother who had deceived him, welcoming him home. It may seem too good to be true but that is exactly how Father God reacts to our returning. He doesn’t hold the past against us, but runs out to meet us and welcome us home. What is keeping you from being the servant that you should be? What is it you are afraid God won’t forgive you for? Trust Him, He will. He loves you and longs to welcome you back.

“Thank You, LORD, for forgiving our sins as quickly as we confess and repent.”