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08/08/2021 03:00 - 09/08/2021 02:00

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” - Mathew 18:21 (NIV). 

Esau is very often portrayed negatively in the Bible particularly on account of selling his birthright for a “pot of stew”! Once he found his twin brother Jacob preparing a meal. Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”…Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:30-34).

In spite of that his father Isaac still recognized him as the first born. In virtually all civilizations being a first born son came with a special blessing. One day Isaac called on Esau to “go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die” (Genesis 27: 4). However, his mother Rebekah on hearing so, in a bold act of favoritism tipped the younger Jacob, to ambush Isaac and pretend he was Esau with a tasty dish.

By the time Esau got back the blessing had been passed on to Jacob. On learning, Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing” (vv 36). Feeling wronged he planned to kill Jacob, who decided to flee to exile (vv 42-45).

Many years down the road Jacob decided to go back home. He was by then a wealthy man but something was nagging him. He was plagued with guilt of how he had wronged Esau. As he approached home, he prayed to God, “Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me..” (Genesis 32:11). He decided to send gifts to Esau ahead of him apparently to win him over.

They say time heals wounds and Esau’s fury had long passed. Once Esau saw Jacob, instead of coming out with bows and arrows, “he ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept” (Genesis 33:4). Esau ignored Jacobs gifts and in a great act of magnanimity offered protection for Jacob instead.

This is a story not just about sibling rivalry, but also of the redemption of forgiveness. We can’t help but note how long Jacob lived with the burden of having done wrong, which he was aware and sought to make amends once the opportunity came. Yet, even more important that Esau had forgiven his bother, and was no longer brooding with anger to exact revenge. When the injured fails to forgives, he too becomes a prisoner, further causing his own grief. Forgiving is liberating.

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today knowing how you forgave me, I too, surrender and forgive others where I have been done wrong, to enjoy and bask in the full freedom that comes from forgiveness, this I pray in Jesus’s name!

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  • 23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day

    “The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).

    Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.

    The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).

    The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).

    Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.

    And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).

    When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!

    Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.

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