Their possessions were too great for them to remain together; the land where they were staying could not support them both because of their livestock. (Genesis 36:7)
This passage of Scripture is referring to Jacob and Esau. It is mentioned in the account of Esau’s life. There is really little that we know about Esau, as we have come to know much more about his brother Jacob. We know that Esau gave up his birthright for a meal, he lost “the blessing”, at one point in time he wanted to kill his brother, and then later in Scripture we find out that Esau had forgiven his brother Jacob.
The message that keeps ringing so clear in my ears is the one of forgiveness. I have to go back to it again today because it is one that God has been dealing with in my own life. It seems like this is an area in my life that God revisits quite often. I know Jesus spoke about it quite a few times while He was on this earth. We often miss it because we think we have the right to be angry over certain situations. We want to hold on to that anger and never let it go. The problem is that anger eats away at us and steals the moments of joy we are meant to experience through our Savior.
I truly believe that the reason Esau was able to get to a place where he experienced so much of God’s goodness is because he gave up his right to be angry. He decided that God would be the One to take care of the wrongs that his brother had done towards him. He was not plotting out his revenge or seeking justice. He wanted to live out the moments in life that God had given him. And because of this, the blessing that had been passed down from his forefather Abraham would be something he would experience. He would inherit the land and all that was in it. He would experience the grace of God. Will you step away from the anger, bitterness, and strife that wants to hold you bound? Will you step into God’s abundant grace?
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)
We as Christians have become so good at this. We love to point out the flaws in those around us because then it means we don’t have to see the flaws in ourselves. It’s time to stop pointing the finger and start looking in the mirror. Forgiveness starts with me saying, “God please take the huge log out of my eye. Help me to see things as you see them… Help me to forgive, as You have forgiven me!”
How many times must I forgive someone?
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
This does not mean you can go and keep a running tally on the person you are forgiving. Jesus simply was making a statement. You cannot count the number of times you forgive someone. Would you want God to count the number of times He forgives you? It would look like something like this for me, if He did: “Let’s see I forgave Sarah 5,797 times this week! She is getting close to using up her limit!” Yeah, my tally wouldn’t look so good! I’m really glad God doesn’t keep a score card and He wants us to do the same for those who are in our lives. We need to constantly go back to the Scripture to find the strength to forgive and realize that God sent the greatest example of forgiveness, His Son. Forgiveness will never look greater, than two arms open up wide and nailed two a cross! These are the words given from the cross, just moments before Jesus gave His last breath.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Even in Jesus’ final moments, He was thinking about forgiveness. He wanted forgiveness for those who nailed Him to the cross. During the greatest crime in history, Jesus was asking for forgiveness for the criminals. Our lives should demonstrate this kind of forgiveness. Remember, no one has to say “I’m sorry” to be forgiven. Those at the cross were simply forgiven, no strings attached!
Dear Father God,
I will never be able to fully grasp the ultimate sacrifice that was paid on Calvary for my sins. Then to think about my Savior uttering the words of forgiveness that I myself need to be better at giving. Oh Lord, please teach me to be more like Your Son. Please teach me the value of forgiveness and what it means to live with no strings attached to the act of forgiveness. May I forgive quickly and love more completely!
Striving for Excellence,