God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called
the children of God (Matthew 5:9).
Jacob conned his older twin brother and got his
birthright (Genesis 25:29-33). Then he cheated Esau
a second time when he tricked their father into giving
him the blessings that belonged to Esau—the firstborn
(27:36). In anger, the older brother swore to kill Jacob
(27:41). So their mother advised Jacob to hide out at his
uncle’s place (vv.43-45) for a period of time that stretched
to 20 long years. Finally, after that lengthy stay, God
wanted Jacob to return and reconcile with Esau (31:3,13).
In obedience, Jacob did two things:
• He initiated the reconciliation (32:3). Esau was
in Edom. To meet him there, Jacob deliberately had
to travel hundreds of miles south of his hometown. It
required significant effort to travel that great distance.
It was inconvenient, time-consuming, and costly. But he
ignored those valid excuses not to see his brother.
• He humbled himself (vv.4-5). He called his brother “my
master Esau,” and labeled himself “[Esau’s] servant” (v.4).
According to the customs of his time, Jacob was now the
head of the family (having stolen that position from Esau 2
decades earlier). But by honoring his older brother, Jacob
acknowledged the natural birth order. He referred to Esau
as the master, the lord of the family.
Jacob let his brother know why he came back. “I have
sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming,
hoping that you will be friendly to me” (Genesis 32:5). He asked for reconciliation.
Is there someone with whom you need to reconcile? Someone from whom you
need to ask for or receive forgiveness? Jacob showed us the three attitudes that
should characterize your peace-making efforts—a willingness to reconcile, an
attitude of genuine humility, and true sincerity.
You need to make the first move to initiate reconciliation. Then humbly and
sincerely pursue true forgiveness.
How does reconciliation reflect God’s posture toward us? What will it
mean for you to pursue peace and forgiveness in your relationships this