“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18)
God had told Jacob to go back to his country and kindred. That meant he would have to meet his brother Esau. When he sent messengers to Esau, they returned with this reply: “We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.” (Genesis 32:6) Esau had long ago threatened to kill Jacob for taking Esau’s blessing, so that sounded bad.
Jacob divided his company into two groups. If Esau attacked one, the other would escape. He also prayed, ”O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant;” (Genesis 32:9-10) He prayed for deliverance from Esau.
Finally, when the time came, Jacob “…bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.” (Genesis 33:3) Instead of killing Jacob, though, “…Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” (Genesis 33:4) When God told Jacob to go back, Jacob could have disobeyed for fear of Esau. Yet God said He would deal well with Jacob. Jacob trusted God and obeyed, and his relationship with Esau was mended.
This story is a good example of how Christians should strive to be at peace with people. Saved people are human. We may say and do offensive things. You may know of someone you have offended. Maybe it’s time to contact that person and apologize. Even if they were partly wrong, don’t think about their part of the wrong. Just think about your part. The plan is simple: prepare, pray and ask God to help you through it, and approach him or her with a humble attitude.
This is important to do because God’s Word says to do it. It’s also important because the person involved may be lost without Jesus and on their way to hell. God wants that person saved, and He may want you to be His instrument to reach him. Obedience can open a door for you to talk with him or her about Jesus, just as Jacob’s obedience opened a door for him to talk with Esau about God: “…God hath dealt graciously with me,” (Genesis 33:11)
If you’re saved, don’t pass up opportunities to share Jesus with people. If you don’t do as you should, you could be passing up an opportunity to share Christ. Don’t let pride keep you from doing what’s right. More than anything else, people need to hear how to have their sins forgiven and an eternal home in heaven. If you want to see from the Bible how to receive Jesus as Saviour, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links”, then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 9/3/2022
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822