Summary: Until you have learned God’s love for yourself and be reconciled with God, you will have a hard time reconciling with others!
God is a God of relationships; this is why He created people. Because the Creator God is a God of relationships, His created ones, people, are to be relational as well.
Most of us have had strained relationships. Should we try and restore strained relationships?
If so, how do we do it?
How do we deal with the strained relationships which were never our faults? How do we respond to the command of Jesus to “Love your enemies”?
Of course we can find the answer through Jesus Christ. We’ll talk more about that later. But what about during the Old Testament times, did God teach love your enemies?
If so, why, and how? We can find answers in the story of Jacob with his brother Esau in Genesis 32-33.
Please open your Bibles to Genesis 32.
Before reading and listening, let us together pray our commitment to God’s Word………………
Remember that Jacob spent over 20 years away from his parents. But Jacob was blessed by God while he worked for Laban; then God told Jacob to go back to Canaan.
And so we read in Genesis 32:1-21……………….
We talked last week about the wrestling match with God in v22-32. We continue Jacob’s story with his brother Esau in Genesis 33…………….
Angels are messengers of God! And what did Jacob do right after meeting with the angels?
Look again at Gen. 31:3…….
Out of the blue, Jacob sent a messenger to his brother.
And what was the message from Jacob to Esau?
Look at the end of v5……………
Remember how Jacob and Esau parted ways 20 years prior to this time? Turn back briefly to Genesis 27:41-43….
Jacob went to live with Laban for over 20 years because he feared his brother. And based on Genesis 32:5, Jacob still feared his brother!
Why, all of a sudden, would Jacob look for his brother?
Let me remind you of what happened to Jacob while he was with Laban for 20 years:
As soon as Jacob saw Rachel, Jacob ignored God.
Jacob worked for Laban for 7 years, but then Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah. Jacob was furious but
Jacob worked 7 more years for Laban to have Rachel.
Jacob listened to his wives more than God and had concubines! Jacob schemed to get more animals from Laban. Jacob himself brought much problems to his family!
God could have given up on this sinner Jacob, couldn’t He? But in spite of Jacob’s sinfulness, God made Jacob prosper and affirmed blessings. For 20 years, God was working on Jacob! Why would Jacob now look for his brother?
Jacob learned about God’s love! How do we know this? Look back to Genesis 31:40-42……….
Jacob learned that in spite of his sinful acts, God desired a good relationship with him. Jacob learned he was reconciled with God and the presence of angels, God’s messengers, convicted Jacob to reconcile with his brother!
Are we reconciled with God? Is God telling us anything about our strained relationships?
And so we note, Jacob made a decision to try and reconcile with his brother. Now, based on Genesis 32:1-21, how confident was Jacob in facing Esau?? Not very!!