Peacemaking with El Elohe


The reconciliation of Jacob and Esau is a story of the power of God to bring peace to those in conflict.  God is mightier than the things which stand between us, and when we listen to his voice and pursue peace, God can bring shalom to our relationships through Jesus…

4 Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.

20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.
Genesis 33:4, 20

When Jacob finally came to Esau, it was Esau who was running toward him.  Jacob had sent gifts ahead of himself to appease his brother, from whom he had stolen the birthright and blessing of Isaac.  Jacob was very concerned that Esau would still hold a grudge, for in the past Esau had desired to kill his brother Jacob.

Still Jacob went forward to meet and hopefully reconcile with his estranged brother.  Maybe that’s lesson number one.  In the face of potential conflict and hostility, Jacob followed God’s voice to return to his homeland, and was determined to make things right with his brother.

Now think about who might have a grudge against you.

Would you go to them and make a peace offering?  Would you trust God to bring reconciliation as you obey his voice?  That’s what Jacob did.  And it’s an example for us all.

When all was said and done, Jacob purchased some land to settle in the region and erected an altar to God and called it El Elohe – the mighty God.  Indeed.  God is mighty.

He is more mighty than our conflict.
More mighty than our irreconcilable differences.
More mighty than grudges.
More mighty than history.
And mighty enough to chart a new course of peace in the future for us all.

That’s what God did through Jesus.  Ephesians 2:11-19 teaches us that Jesus is the one who brought the shalom peace of God to Jews and Gentiles, reconciling them into one new humanity in Christ.  El Elohe.

With a God such as this how could we let there be conflict between us.  Listen to God’s voice and offer peace.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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