Message: As I was reading Genesis 32 I couldn’t help but notice some of the similarities and some of the stark contrasts in how Jacob handled Laban vs how he handled Esau. With Laban, Jacob was fearful that he would not be able to leave peaceably with his wives, children and livestock so he left without saying goodbye. But when Laban caught up to him he was bold and confident. He knew he had worked hard and served Laban well and even caused him to prosper because of his faithfulness to God, so he had a clean conscience and he challenged Laban to search his things to prove he had nothing to hide. He made the covenant with Laban and went on his way. His approach with Esau was much different. He was afraid for himself and his family because he had cheated his brother out of his birthright and his blessing and his brother had vowed to kill him- 20 years prior. He had been carrying the weight of it for 20 years, he was hoping to win his brother over but he just didn’t know how he would respond. He sent gifts ahead with his servants, he split his caravan into two, and he even hid his wives and children across the creek just in case things went south.
Command: Deal with issues as they come. Don’t let time separate me from resolving situations. They don’t dissipate over time. They build more tension and cause more anxiety.
Promise: Walking free of guilt allows me to walk with confidence without wondering what awaits me.
Warning: Hanging onto unresolved issues does not get better with time. It multiplies the dread and depletes my confidence.
Application: Walk in honesty with myself , with God and with people and I will be able to maintain confidence that God will take care of me. I do not have to avenge myself, cheat or deceive anyone. My clean conscience will make room for God to work.
We need to learn to be slow and anger. When we let pride and ego get in our way we fail to grow. If we open our ears there is much we can learn from those around us. We need to prepare our soil with goodness so that our roots are deeply embedded in our faith and watered with the word of God. Our garden will not prosper if we only make the topsoil damp. If we tend our life garden with all of his goodness we will prosper. We need to fully commit ourselves to God and his teachings. We cannot just be good christians on Sundays are when other people are watching because God is always watching. If we do wrong whether indeed or by action we should write that wrong immediately and learn from it so that our life garden can grow strong and be indestructible with god’s love and power .