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Relationships with Others

Sensing that Laban’s sons are growing angry with him, Jacob hears the voice of God calling him to leave. However, when Laban pursues him, Jacob works out an agreement with Laban. They are both conscious of the fact that though they cannot really trust each other, the fact that God is watching their actions will help to keep them from breaking their promises to each other. In our society, relationships of trust have broken down in many ways because there is no longer a strong consciousness that we all live our lives in the presence of a holy God.

Going back home, for Jacob, means facing his brother whom he had cheated. He wrestles with God as he faces this experience. But while Jacob is changed, he is not changed completely, for he sends ahead those members of the family for whom he cares least, willing to sacrifice them
if necessary to spare those whom he loves more. It turns out that Esau is willing to forgive him.

Even then, Jacob is not completely honest, for he says he will follow Esau back home, but then heads in another direction. It is important that we, like Esau, are willing to forgive those who have hurt us in the past. It is also important that, unlike Jacob, we deal with others with utmost integrity.

Prayer: Father, as we consider how much you have forgiven us, give us grace to forgive others. Help us to be utterly honest in our dealings with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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