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Reconciling with a brother
Bible Passage Genesis 32: 9- 21
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2024 & books 1 Samuel, 2 Kings, 2 Samuel, Genesis.

Reconciling with a brother

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached May 13, 2024

9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, O God of my father Isaac, O LORD, you who told me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives and I’ll cause things to go well for you.’

10 I’m unworthy of all your gracious love, your faithfulness, and everything that you’ve done for your servant. When I first crossed over this river, I had only my staff. But now I’ve become two groups.

11 Deliver me from my brother Esau’s control, because I’m terrified of him, and I’m afraid that he’s coming to attack me, the mothers, and their children.

12 Now, you promised me that ‘I’m certainly going to cause things to go well with you, and I’m going to make your offspring as numerous as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

13 Jacob spent the night there. Out of everything that he had brought with him, he chose a gift for his brother Esau—

14 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams,

15 30 milking camels with their young, 40 cows with ten bulls, and 20 female donkeys with ten male donkeys.

16 He entrusted them into the care of his servants, one herd at a time. Then he told his servants, “Go in front of me, making sure there’s plenty of space between herds.”

17 To the first group he said, “When you meet my brother Esau, if he asks, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And to whom do these herds belong?’

18 then you are to reply, ‘We’re from your servant Jacob. The herds are a gift. He’s sending them to my master, Esau. Look! There he is, coming along behind us.’”

19 He issued similar instructions to the second and third group, as well as to all the others who drove the herds that followed: “This is how you are to speak to Esau when you find him.

20 You are to tell him, ‘Look! Your servant Jacob is coming along behind us.’” Jacob was thinking, “I’ll pacify him with the presents that are being sent ahead of me. Then, when I meet him, perhaps he’ll accept me.”

21 So the presents went ahead of him, while he spent that night in the camp.

Esau and Jacob were siblings born to their parents Isaac and Rebecca. The custom in ancient times was for the father of the household to confirm the birthright of his firstborn son by giving his special blessing just before he died. When Isaac was old, his wife Rebecca connived with their son to steal the birthright blessings from Esau to be the head of God’s promised people, who would live in a prosperous land and have victory over their enemies.

The only blessing Isaac could give Esau was the promise that he too would be the father of a nation (to be known as Edom; see Gen. 28: 25:30); but that nation would live in a barren region where it would be in constant conflict with its neighbours, particularly Israel (see Num 24:18; 1 Sam 14:47; 2 Sam 8:13-14; 1 Kings 11:15-16; 2 Kings 8:20-22; 14:7,22 ).

In bitterness Esau planned to kill Jacob, so Rebekah decided to send Jacob to her brother (Jacob’s uncle) Laban for safety. However, knowing Isaac’s feelings concerning Jacob’s deceit, she gave Isaac a different reason for sending Jacob away. She said Jacob needed a wife, Isaac therefore agreed to Rebekah’s suggestion to send Jacob north to find a wife among Rebekah’s relatives.

Jacob went and married two of Laban’s daughters; Leah and Rachel. As Laban and his sons became increasingly hostile to him, Jacob prepared to leave for Canaan without delay. Leah and Rachel agreed, for they too were angry with Laban.

During the twenty years that Jacob had been in Mesopotamia, Esau had established his household in the territory to the south near the Dead Sea. Jacob knew that if he was to live in peace in Canaan, he would first have to put things right with Esau. With much fear and anxiety, he sent news to Esau that he was coming to meet him (Genesis 32:1-8).

Jacob had by now learned humility before God that was lacking the previous time he met Esau. He thanked God for his remarkable blessings in the past and prayed that God’s promises for the future would guarantee protection for him against his brother (verses 9-12). At the same time, he thought it wise to send Esau a series of gifts, intending to win his favour (verses 13-21).

🔷 We must be ready to say sorry and make peace genuinely in order to promote development

🔷 Reconciliation is never a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of godliness and maturity.

💥 Pray for peace among neighbours and family
💥 Ask God’s will to be done in your life

Life is not a battle for space or success with your neighbour. God definitely has a plan for all. Let us remain focused on God and He will unveil His purpose of love and prosperity for us.

In series Bright Morning Reflections