Restored Relationships-Genesis 33:1-11

Genesis 33:1-11 “Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two maidservants. 2 He put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. 3 He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. 5 Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the maidservants and their children approached and bowed down. 7 Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down. 8 Esau asked, “What do you mean by all these droves I met?” “To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said. 9 But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.” 10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.”
Genesi 33:1-11 “Giacobbe alzò gli occhi, guardò, ed ecco Esaù che veniva avendo con sé quattrocento uomini. Allora divise i figli tra Lea, Rachele e le due serve. 2 Mise davanti le serve e i loro figli, poi Lea e i suoi figli, e infine Rachele e Giuseppe. 3 Egli stesso passò davanti a loro, e si inchinò fino a terra sette volte, finché si fu avvicinato a suo fratello. 4 Ed Esaù gli corse incontro, lo abbracciò, gli si gettò al collo, lo baciò e piansero. 5 Poi Esaù, alzando gli occhi, vide le donne e i bambini, e disse: «Chi sono questi che hai con te?» Giacobbe rispose: «Sono i figli che Dio si è compiaciuto di dare al tuo servo». 6 Allora le serve si avvicinarono con i loro figli e si inchinarono. 7 Si avvicinarono anche Lea e i suoi figli e si inchinarono. Poi si avvicinarono Giuseppe e Rachele e s’inchinarono. Allora Esaù disse: «Che ne vuoi fare di tutta quella schiera che ho incontrato?» Giacobbe rispose: «È per trovare grazia agli occhi del mio signore». 9 Ed Esaù: «Io ho molta roba, fratello mio; tieni per te ciò che è tuo». 10 Ma Giacobbe disse: «No, ti prego, se ho trovato grazia agli occhi tuoi, accetta il dono dalla mia mano, perché io ho visto il tuo volto come uno vede il volto di Dio, e tu mi hai fatto buona accoglienza. 11 Ti prego, accetta il mio dono che ti è stato presentato, perché Dio è stato molto buono con me, e io ho di tutto». E tanto insistette che Esaù lo accettò.
     It has been 20 years since Esau and Jacob have last seen each other. The parting of the two brothers had not been pleasant. As Jacob returns home with his family, he knows that eventually he will have to face Esau; it is now about to happen. Jacob, of course, is fearful of any confrontation since he had been deceitful to both his brother and his father. As a protective measure in this first meeting, he positions Rachel and Joseph in the very back of the procession. But God had already dealt with Esau and he is eager to reunite with his brother. Nothing needed to be said but his expression of love to his estranged brother speaks volumes to us. Jacob realizes that there aren’t any retaliatory or deceptive tricks; Esau genuinely wants to restore their relationship and rebuild. 
     How would we fit in this story? When we meditate on what has happened in our own broken relationships and whose fault it may be, we miss out on how God wants to restore and rebuild tattered relationships. Esau was a man who had every right with his 400 men to exact payback for a 20 year old wound…but he chose to embrace and not disgrace the moment. We have not seen him as deeply spiritual in previous chapters but here he expresses a level of spirituality that even Jacob doesn’t possess. Whatever may prevent us from relationship rebuilding, we need to reexamine our hearts and begin to walk toward restoration and healing with others.
Pray with me: Lord, I have faced situations in my life where either I was wronged or I wronged someone else. Help me to respond to You when the opportunity arises and watch how You can restore and heal my wounded relationships.

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