Emotional Baggage of Guilt
- Message: Well I’m still sucked into the story of Jacob so here I go again in Genesis! Jacob is about to see his brother face to face for the first time since he stole his blessing and fled. He is now so paranoid that his brother might try to kill him that he split up his wives and servant wives and children and he sent a generous amount of flocks ahead hoping this will appease his brother. When he finally sees Esau he hugs him and kisses him. Esau is happy to see him but wants to know what’s up with all of the animals. When Jacob tells him it’s a gift for him because he is overflowing with blessing, Esau says “no thanks, I have plenty.” Jacob insists so Esau accepts the gift and then immediately wants Jacob and his entourage to hit the road and follow him home to Seir. Jacob tells him to go ahead and that he would follow at a slower pace, but then he takes another road and settles somewhere else. Anyone else confused by this move?
- Application: Once again I skipped the command, promise and warning. We’re just observing behaviors here. I think it’s interesting that Jacob spent SO much time obsessing over his brother’s response that he was absolutely paranoid. When he finally saw his brother he was well received and his brother clearly wanted him to go home with him. It seems that Esau did in fact let loose of that yoke and was doing very well. Interestingly enough, Jacob is holding all of the blessings and favor of God but his soul is still not ok. He appears to be the one still in bondage to the yoke that was originally put over Esau. Even though the blessings that were spoken said that Esau would serve his brother, Jacob continues to refer to himself as “servant” and his brother as “master”. I’m completely speculating here but it seems he might still be stuck in his guilt. He tried to buy his brother’s favor and even though his brother showed genuine signs of restoration, Jacob took another road. I have seen this in relationships. One person is unable to get past their guilt even when the other has healed. The guilt looms over them and makes them paranoid so they duck out of the relationship entirely. I see myself on both sides of this story and I just want to take note here that you can be victimized and heal from it like Esau did, or you can get stuck in your guilt and self-destruct. I’m not saying that Jacob self-destructed but his behavior is peculiar. We all do this when we’re guilty. We act weird, get paranoid, try to earn or buy relationships or avoid them altogether.