God made us to live in reconciled relationships, first with him and then with each other. When we are at peace in our relational world, it is like being ever before the face of God. When a broken relationship has been restored, it is a gift of God’s grace that no other gift in the world can match. Thank God for reconciled relationships!
Going Deep // Focus: Genesis 33: 24-25, 10-11
But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift.
God made us to live in reconciled relationships, first with him and then with each other. When we are at peace in our relational world, it is like being ever before the face of God. When a broken relationship has been restored, it is a gift of God’s grace that no other gift in the world can match.
Thank God for reconciled relationships!
Unfortunately, sin leads us to deceive one another, or dominate, or even destroy our most priceless treasures—people we love. And once sin sets in, distance is caused between two who were once close. Ultimately, division is created, feelings are wounded and covenants are fractured. Though we might be able to explain the causes and justify the results, disunity is a result of sin, and the divide that is created between two human beings is the Enemy’s stock-in-trade.
Yet God has provided a path for the mending of broken covenants, and the stepping stones on the path are repentance, forgiveness, restitution, reconciliation and restoration. Each of those steps can be seen in Jacob’s outreach to his brother, Esau.
Esau had been the wounded party; Jacob the perpetrator. Thankfully, Jacob took the initiative. In his wrestling match with God in the previous chapter, God had dealt with his deceptive ways, and Jacob repented. He then sought forgiveness from his brother, humbling himself in Esau’s presence. (Genesis 33:3) He even took it a step further by offering restitution, thus the gifts. (Genesis 33:8) Jacob’s act of contrition and Esau’s willingness to accept it led to reconciliation between the two, and ultimately to a restored relationship in the house of Isaac. (Genesis 33:4)
And what a beautiful story this is, one that has the smile of God plastered all over it.
Does reconciliation always happen when outreach is made? Not always. Sometimes the hurt is deep and time is needed. Sometimes the offender has not humbled himself enough to repair the breach. And often the wounded party, who in reality, has to pay the real cost of reconciliation—forgiveness—is simply not ready and willing to bear that price. Never the less, if there is fracture in your relational world, perhaps this story is a reminder to do what you must to reconcile.
If you were the offender, or even the offended, reach out and do what you can. Who knows what will happen, because the other person’s response is an unavoidable part of the equation. But the risk will be worth the reward, for the possibility of seeing the smile of God in the relationship is the best gift ever.
And even if restoration waits for a later day, the smile of God will be within your heart for giving every effort to attain unity with the offended party.