Genesis 33: 3-4 NIV 2011
He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.
After stealing Esau’s birthright, Isaac instructed Jacob to go to Paddan Aram, land of his mother’s family. God ultimately sent Jacob home. Genesis 31:9, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives and I will be with you.” Bowing seven times was Jacob’s way of submitting to Esau, the Jewish number of completeness. Though Jacob feared Esau’s reaction, he humbled himself before him. God blessed Esau immeasurably. During Jacob’s absence Esau held no grudge against Jacob. Jacob’s years of fear were found groundless in Esau’s gracious forgiveness. The ransom for all believers to receive God’s eternal forgiveness comes through Jesus Christ.
I love this example of godly forgiveness that was discovered walking through Genesis. As an adult, I’ve seen this over and over again in our family. Sisters, once polar opposites learned we had more in common than we imagined. Being able to overlook each of our imperfections when gathered together we share moments at lunch filled with joyous laughter. No one stole my birthright but if they did, it doesn’t matter because I know who I am in Christ. Jesus paid my ransom and forgives me daily.
How does the Lord help us forgive those needing forgiveness?