Sibling Rivalry

As children we squabbled over the most important things: who ate the first potato chip from the bag; who got to sit in the front seat of the car; who had to wash the dishes while the others dried them and put them away!

Genesis 33:1-20

Reference:  v.4  But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.  And they wept. (NIV Bible)

Explore:   Growing up in a family of three girls, there was bound to be some sibling rivalry.  As children we squabbled over the most important things: who ate the first potato chip from the bag; who got to sit in the front seat of the car; who had to wash the dishes while the others dried them and put them away!  My poor parents.  I wonder whether they thought we would ever be friends.
As I read this passage about Jacob reuniting with Esau I realise that anything could happen.  While me and my sisters niggled over silly, unimportant things, Jacob had taken from Esau his birthright and his father’s blessing.  There was some serious history between these two.  And yet we read a ‘prodigal brother’ moment where Esau embraces Jacob instead of killing him which could have been another conclusion.

Application:  The relationships that happen within families are complicated and complex.  But for Esau to extend such a hand of forgiveness to his brother is amazing.  We don’t know what has happened in Esau’s life that has lead him to this moment, but his forgiveness and love is outstanding.  It makes us look at our own family relationships.  Is there still some underlying rivalry present?  Do we forgive and embrace our family like Esau?  No family is perfect and we all have our history.  But we truly get a glimpse of Godly behaviour when we see how Esau is willing to truly embrace his brother.

Prayer:  Lord, you are the King of forgiveness.  Help us to see what is important and reflect Your qualities in our family relationships.  Amen.

How are your family relationships going?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.

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