Jacob & Esau • Devotion #6: Esau Forgives Jacob
Michael Fox | Creative Director
Have you ever needed to be forgiven for something? I have! I have broken things, mistreated friends and family, and used hurtful words. If you have experienced forgiveness, you know how powerful it can be. Ultimately, God has forgiven us for our sin through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. This is a beautiful thing, something we do not deserve. In Genesis chapter 33, we see a picture of forgiveness played out in the story of Jacob and Esau, twin brothers in the Old Testament.
If you are not familiar with the story, take a moment to read Genesis chapter 27. In Genesis 27:14-19, we see the story unfold when Jacob stole the blessing of his father from Esau, who was entitled to it: “So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. So he went into his father and said, ‘My father.’ And he said, ‘Here I am. Who are you, my son?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.’”
Skipping ahead a little, we see Esau’s reaction to Jacob taking the blessing that was rightfully his. Genesis 27:41 says, “Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, ‘The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.’”
At this point, there was a bit of family drama. One brother stole something that was rightfully his, something rather large. His mother helped him do it. Now, Jacob’s mother encourages him to basically run away and hide, as his brother wants to kill him. Work your way through the story, and in Genesis 33:4 when Jacob and Esau finally meet again, we see forgiveness play out, “But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”
Is there someone in your life today that you might need to forgive? Is there someone you offended or wronged, and you need to seek forgiveness? As you reflect and pray on this, here are a few promises from God about forgiveness.
“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:13
“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9