-Another writing from my handsome husband.
For those who know the story, Esau despised his brother Jacob for taking his birthright and robbing him of his fathers blessing. (Genesis 27.) Because of this, Esau had firmly decided that after his father died, he’d take his brothers life.
Can you say, “grudge!?”
Esau had every reason to harbor those feelings towards his brother. His brother clearly did him wrong. Jacob catches wind of his brother’s intent to take his life and he took off running. It’d be a good many years before they would meet again.
Fast forward several years to that encounter. Jacob learns his brother is pursuing him for a meeting of some kind. Obviously, flashbacks of all the wrong he’d done his brother and those threats upon his life rang loudly.
So Jacob attempts to appeal to his brother in advance of their meeting by offering “restitution” of sorts… Sending his brother Esau a gift of 200 ewes, 20 lambs, 30 female camels, 40 cows, 10 bulls… Oh and 30 donkeys.
That’s a lot of attempt to “smooth things over.”
In essence Jacob was saying, “I took your birthright and your blessing. God has truly blessed me. I’m sorry. Please accept this large gift as restitution, and spare my life.”
But interestingly, Esau didn’t want the gift. Why? Genesis 33:9 is Esau’s response.
“I already have plenty. Keep what you have for yourself.”
And he did have plenty. In fact, the chapter starts out mentioning Esau had 400 of his men with him!
That’s when it hit me… Though Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and blessing, God STILL greatly blessed Esau. And he must have truly been blessed, because who would turn down 40 cows and 10 bulls. That’s a lot of steak!
Esau had been so upset with Jacob for taking so much from him that he had wanted him dead. He had held a grudge against Jacob for no telling how long.
We hold grudges towards people who have hurt us- deceived us, and/or taken from us something we feel we were entitled to. And we hold that grudge against that person until we feel they make right with us. That seems to be the condition of our letting it go.
But through Esau’s story we learn something quite valuable. When people wrong us, we shouldn’t wait around for that person to restore back to us. Why? Because God is good, and He is just. And just as God would take care of Esau after Jacob wronged Him, so He will also take care of us.
It’s freeing when our hope is no longer in people to make right but in the Lord who sees us. And trust me, if you are His, He sees.
He takes care of His own. And He wants to be the one to right the wrongs others have done to you. And He will. Just as God restored back much of what Jacob had stolen from Esau, so the same will be with us.
If you’ve been wronged by someone, try to let it go. Instead, have faith that God sees and will act justly. He can be trusted. I believe if that other party has, or begins to have a heart for God, then at some point you’ll meet your “Jacob” again. And by the time that day comes, my guess is God will have already have blessed you greatly- perhaps to the point where restitution from the one you held a grudge against will be the last thing on your mind – just like Esau.
So, are you holding a grudge against someone? Let it go!
(Genesis chapters 27, 32 and 33)
Jason Mayfield, Brushy Fork Baptist Church