Daily Devotionals

When Pigs Fly Week 2: Saturday

Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept. Genesis 33:4

Scripture teaches that when we sin, we are to turn to God. We must acknowledge our sin before Him and say, "I'm sorry." This step is critical, but we cannot stop there. You see, after we are reconciled with God, we must be reconciled with the people we hurt. We have to make things right with the relationships that we damage. This is what it looks like to pursue healing and restoration.

Jacob set out to pursue restoration with his brother Esau in Genesis 33. At least 20 years earlier, Jacob had used his deception not once but twice to steal both the family birthright and their father's blessing that rightfully belonged to Esau as the oldest son. For 20 years, these brothers were separated. After Jacob had stolen Esau's blessing from their father, Jacob fled to escape Esau's wrath. Now they were going to meet up for the first time. Can you imagine Jacob’s fear? He did not know how Esau felt. Was he still angry? Had he been planning his revenge this entire time? These thoughts must have been racing through his brain. Despite these things, Jacob courageously faced his brother. He was no longer running. When he finally saw Esau coming to him, he had 400 men with him. Once again, Jacob must have been fearful for his life and his family’s lives. Imagine his surprise when Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, and hugged and kissed him (verse 4). Jacob had taken steps toward restoration, and Esau had forgiven him. This was a beautiful reunion.

If we want to grow, we have to follow Jacob's example and seek reconciliation with the people whom we have hurt. We must turn to them, admit where we have wronged them, and apologize. We are not in control of how they will respond, but we are in control of ourselves, and we need to make things right with others, even when it is difficult. This is what it looks like to take steps toward growth.

Moving toward action

Is there someone you need to seek forgiveness and restoration from in your life? Don't wait to apologize and make things right. Instead, go to them today, in person if possible, and tell them you are sorry. Ask them for your forgiveness, and then move forward. As you seek reconciliation with the people in your life, you will find peace with God and those around you. 

Going Deeper

Genesis 33:1-19

"Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. 2 He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. 4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.

5 Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, "Who are these people with you?"

"These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant," Jacob replied. 6 Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him. 7 Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him.

8 "And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?" Esau asked.

Jacob replied, "They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship."

9 "My brother, I have plenty," Esau answered. "Keep what you have for yourself."

10 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! 11 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.

12 "Well," Esau said, "let's be going. I will lead the way."

13 But Jacob replied, "You can see, my lord, that some of the children are very young, and the flocks and herds have their young, too. If they are driven too hard, even for one day, all the animals could die. 14 Please, my lord, go ahead of your servant. We will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for the livestock and the children. I will meet you at Seir."

15 "All right," Esau said, "but at least let me assign some of my men to guide and protect you."

Jacob responded, "That's not necessary. It's enough that you've received me warmly, my lord!"

16 So Esau turned around and started back to Seir that same day. 17 Jacob, on the other hand, traveled on to Succoth. There he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth (which means "shelters").

18 Later, having traveled all the way from Paddan-aram, Jacob arrived safely at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan. There he set up camp outside the town. 19 Jacob bought the plot of land where he camped from the family of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of silver."