Old Hurts Healed

Dorothy Hostetter

READ : Genesis 33:1-20

Imagine Jacob’s terror as he looked up to see Esau approaching with 400 men! For 20 years he knew he was guilty. He had cheated his brother and had run away. Finally the moment to make things right with his brother arrived.

Picture Jacob’s surprise when Esau greeted him with hugs, kisses and tears. While Jacob had been carrying his guilt, Esau had forgotten the whole thing. He had become wealthy and powerful in spite of Jacob.

Jacob’s deceitfulness hurt himself more than it hurt Esau. Even Esau’s warm greeting couldn’t heal Jacob’s wound. A cynic might say that Jacob was still play-acting as he bowed and called Esau “my lord.” But those of us who have offended a friend or relative know how relief leads to extravagant expressions of sorrow.

Reconciliation is a beautiful experience. People come together to make amends for the past and to begin building the future together. Jacob longed to have his brother’s favor. But they could never be fully reconciled. God was leading Jacob to the land he promised to Abraham, but Esau was perfectly content with his life east of the Jordan River. God had completely changed Jacob, and there was no turning back.


Lord, you have received me with open arms. May my life become one with yours. Amen.