The only problem with going home was the unfinished business with Esau. Jacob, whose name means schemer, had scammed his twin brother on two occasions. Finding Esau faint from hunger, Jacob took advantage of his brother’s momentary weakness and convinced him to trade his treasured birthright for a bowl of stew. If that wasn’t enough, Jacob then deceived his blind father, Isaac, into believing he was Esau. In this way, he swindled his brother out of his blessing as the firstborn. For Jacob’s underhanded, scheming ways, Esau promised the ultimate revenge.
That was twenty-years ago. But the unresolved conflict with his brother gave Jacob cause for concern. That concern gave way to panic when he learned that Esau was approaching with four-hundred men. So Jacob quickly devised a plan in an attempt to appease the brother he had wronged. He arranged for a series of presents to be sent ahead. The idea was for Esau to be inundated with gifts, one after another. Whether it was the gifts or the merciful hand of God, all we know is that the animosity was gone. The reunion was peaceful. Better yet, it was healing.
Like Jacob who sinned against Esau, we have sinned against the Lord on multiple occasions. But unlike Jacob who sought to right the wrong with a series of presents, there are no gifts we can give to undo the damage and make it right. God knew that. So in His amazing love He gave the gift of His only begotten Son. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we who have sinned against God far worse than Jacob ever dreamed of sinning against Esau can be reconciled to God!
But what about the gifts? Send them ahead not in order to appease the wrath of God, but to please your heavenly Father.
A day of reckoning is coming for every believer (2 Cor. 5:10). I believe you would agree that we do not want to stand empty-handed in the presence of the One Who gave His all for us. So send ahead your gifts of joyful service, generous giving, faithful ministry, and selfless sacrifice.
Literally inundate Heaven with gifts. And rather than dreading the moment as Jacob feared meeting Esau, you will anticipate standing before the Lord with confidence and great joy!
Pastor Todd Weston