The last time they had seen each other, Esau was plotting to murder his brother, Jacob (see Genesis 27:41– 45).
As the years passed, Esau learned to embrace forgiveness. And once he had forgiven his brother, he no longer demanded repayment or restitution. Esau had made the choice to set Jacob free from any remaining debt.
Nothing promotes reconciliation more than forgiveness. To forgive someone means to let him or her off the hook or to cancel a debt owed. When we refuse to forgive someone, we still want something from that person, and even if it is revenge that we want, it keeps us tied to the person forever.
Refusing to forgive a family member is one of the main reasons people are stuck for years, unable to separate from their dysfunctional families. They still want something from their family.
It is much better to receive grace from God, who has something to give, and to forgive those who have nothing with which to repay their debt. This ends the suffering because it ends the wish for repayment that is never forthcoming, and that makes the heart sick because the hope is deferred.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life,” Proverbs 13:12.
If we do not forgive, we are demanding something our offender does not choose to give, even if it is only confession. This “ties” the person to us.
If we come from a toxic family situation and have been waiting for something before we can forgive, we need to let go. If we cut loose the ties, we will be free. We will be free in forgiveness.
Jacob Escapes from Esau
“So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran. And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away, until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?” Genesis 27:41-45.
“But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And he lifted his eyes and saw the women and children, and said, “Who are these with you?”
So he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Then the maidservants came near, they and their children, and bowed down. And Leah also came near with her children, and they bowed down. Afterward Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed down.
Then Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?”
And he said, “These are to find favor in the sight of my lord.”
But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.”
And Jacob said, “No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” So he urged him, and he took it,” Genesis 33:4-11.
~ Gail Manizak
Gail Manizak of The Power and Presence Ministry, is all about encouraging the Body of Christ as a Ministry of Intercession and contending for our communities, as a House of Prayer.