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Summary: A study in the book of Genesis 33: 1 – 20

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Genesis 33: 1 – 20

Some hurts are better left alone

33 Now Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and there, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants. 2 And he put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children behind, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3 Then he crossed over before them and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 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.” 6 Then the maidservants came near, they and their children, and bowed down. 7 And Leah also came near with her children, and they bowed down. Afterward Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed down. 8 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.” 9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 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. 11 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. 12 Then Esau said, “Let us take our journey; let us go, and I will go before you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die. 14 Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and the children, are able to endure, until I come to my lord in Seir.” 15 And Esau said, “Now let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, built himself a house, and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. 18 Then Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan Aram; and he pitched his tent before the city. 19 And he bought the parcel of land, where he had pitched his tent, from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. 20 Then he erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel.

The 12 steps of AA or Alcoholics Anonymous are filled with some amazing wisdom. Step 9 advises program adherents to grow in serenity to ‘Make direct amends to such people [we have hurt] wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.’ Please take note the words, ‘wherever possible.’ Can you explain what these two words refer to? Well, for one thing a person whom you harmed died, then it stands to reason that it is not possible to make amends. Also, I think you might come up with the answer that you do not know where this person you hurt is presently living at? Do they still live in the same area?

One that I have personally dealt with is a factor which you might not even think of. It is this! With some people you have hurt badly that it is better that you do not try to reach them at all. You might disagree with me on this point. However, let me throw this at you. I did a funeral of a man who accidentally ran over a little girl who ran out in the street in front of his truck. She died. Her family was and still is devastated by the death of their little girl. Of course the man who drove over her also is suffering from this and to my guess will be haunted by this for the rest of his life. Having been personally aware of all that this horrible incident entailed I can tell you without any second thoughts that trying to reach the family of this child would re-open old wounds and is better left alone. This is one of many sad incidents that I have had to deal with in my ministry.

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