The day JACOB and ESAU met
These two brothers hadn’t seen each other for 20 years. Bitterness, anger, hatred, resentment had plenty of time to grow. But God was working in these two men. Their actions teach us the two vital ingredients of reconciliation:
- I will honor others with complete humility.
- I will offer others open-armed forgiveness.
LIVING in HARMONY
There are many benefits of living in peace with others. This story teaches us the “God-given” reasons for working hard at reconciliation.
- I am most like God when I forgive
- I see the priority of harmony in God’s eyes.
- I will text someone right now.
1. When have you felt most forgiven by another person? Why do you think that person forgave you? Why do you think forgiving is easy for some people, and yet hard for others?
2. Read about how important harmony is to God (Psalm 133:1; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4:3; 1 John 4:20; Rom. 12:10; 1 Peter 1:22; 3:8; Hebrews 13:1). Why is it such a priority?
3. Discuss the harmony in the Trinity. Father to the Son (Matthew 3:17; 17:5); Son to the Father (John 5:19; 6:38); Holy Spirit to the Son (John 16:12-15). In a beautiful triangle of humility, the persons of the Trinity are always pointing towards each other. How can you become other-focused instead of self-focused?
4. As you discuss the problem of polygamy in ancient Israel, include the fact that God gave instructions to the king of Israel as to what he was not allowed to multiply (Deut. 17:16-17). How did Jesus “reset the clock” on monogamy (Matt. 19:3-6)?
5. When have you done enough with someone who refuses to live in harmony with you? At what point do you give them over to the Lord and move on with your life?
Applying the Word to Life
6. Who did you text at the end of the sermon? Do you need to follow up with this person? Have you humbled yourself? Are both sides willing to forgive? What is your next step in seeking peace with this person?
7. Will you commit to praying for God to fill you will the following attributes: humility, forgiving spirit, and harmony?