How Big Is Your God (9AM)
The drama of Jacob and Esau is not over yet. Remember that Jacob stole his twin brother, Esau's, birthright over a bowl of stew and then stole his blessing from their father with his mother's help. Esau threatened to kill Jacob for having wronged him so Jacob fled. After spending twenty years working for his uncle Laban, Jacob is commanded by God to return to the land of his ancestors. In order to do so, Jacob must pass through Edom, the territory of his brother, Esau. And so they meet.
Esau travels to the meeting with 400 men. Jacob, ever resourceful, draws up a strategy to pacify Esau. He prepares wave after wave of valuable gifts of various animals. The encounter between Jacob and Esau in Genesis 33:4 appears to be a friendly one. Esau runs to greet his brother. He hugs Jacob and kisses him. It is fortunate that Esau does not kill Jacob or apparently even hold a grudge against him. But a careful reading of the scripture reveals that the rivaling brothers never actually reconcile.
Shortly after their encounter the two part ways and do not meet again until their father's funeral. Does real forgiveness take place between the two men? Although the brothers part unscathed from their encounter, is their relationship really repaired?
How different are God's gifts to us in Jesus Christ! We earn nothing and we cannot merit any of God's blessings. But, by God's grace we are given the precious gift of forgiveness and reconciliation by Christ's sacrificial death on the cross. Therefore, let us live in joyful thanksgiving and not cringing terror.