“Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.”Genesis 33:4 (NLT)
Estrangement between family members is painful. Whether it is between husband and wife, parents and children, or brothers and sisters, the separation we feel brings anxiety. Over time, that separation leads to hardness of heart, resentment, and even hatred. Perhaps this is why Solomon wrote:
“A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.”Proverbs 18:19 (NKJV)
Jacob did everything he could to prepare for his dreaded meeting with Esau. He sent messengers to him calling him “lord”; he prayed reminding God that He promised to bring him safely back to the land of his fathers; he prepared a generous gift of 580 animals to give to his brother. But all of these efforts at making peace could have failed if Esau’s heart had remained hard.
Fortunately, when Esau saw his brother Jacob, he ran to meet him, embraced him, fell on his neck, kissed him, and they wept. After twenty years of estrangement, these two brothers were reunited. How much of this softening of heart do you think was the result of Jacob’s prayers?
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”Psalm 133:1 (NIV)
Is there someone with whom you are estranged? What can you do today to begin to break down the walls of separation and make peace?
“Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”James 3:18 (NIV)
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