The cycle is: God is unity; God commands; Satan tempts; we disobey; we divide and disunify; God warns; God judges; God never stops loving; we repent; God restores.
From this we may find a strong urgency to repent en masse for failure to obey God’s command and prayer for perfect unity. Follow the dialog and join the journey.
In the first three sections (the last three blogs), the cycle appeared quickly. First, Adam and Eve expressed sorrow over their banishment from Eden, but there was no repentance, other than God, who was sorry he created them. Yet God’s never-ending love provided for them despite condemnation to a life of toil and pain. Second, Noah did not need to repent because God considered him to be entirely righteous, and God’s passionate restoration of life on the planet revealed the true heart of God. Third, we saw the first glimmer of repentance in Abram, but only when he realized he was delivered from disaster by an ever-loving God who knew Abram would become Abraham, the father of nations and kings. God blessed Abraham, not because he was perfect but because he got his priorities correct in listening, waiting, honoring, and obeying God.
Today, in the story of Jacob and Esau, we see the cycle in full color, with deceit and bitter hatred of sibling rivalry. Not much has changed over the centuries, has it? As this journey will show, the cycle is tragically repeated over and over again, planted deep in all human hearts by the Snake of Eden.
Yet, with fond memories of Paul Harvey, this is the time to go back and focus on the “rest of the story.”
In the story of Jacob and Esau, we suddenly see how the cycle can be broken – by repentance. Surely this is the beginning of God’s warning to us: be like warring brothers and sisters and perish, or repent and thrive in God’s kingdom!
I am forever changed by watching Jacob’s palpable fear of his brother’s revenge, only to find Esau weeping in his arms – in perfect unity. This is God’s heart.
Jacob and Esau could not have been more different as men. And the future held more strife for them. But for a golden moment, we are shown what the potential of unity through repentance can really become.
And even before I do the research, I know that something even more incredible is coming in the story of Joseph and his brothers!
Read ahead: Genesis 37 - 45