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A Walk Through The Bible – Genesis 33 – Forgiveness

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SIHsTOTT ICON AWTTBDevotional Thoughts From Every Chapter of the Bible

Genesis Chapter 33:


Gen 33:1-20 KJV

(1)  And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.

(2)  And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.

(3)  And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

(4)  And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.

(5)  And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.

(6)  Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.

(7)  And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.

(8)  And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.

(9)  And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.

(10)  And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.

(11)  Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.

(12)  And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.

(13)  And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.

(14)  Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.

(15)  And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.

(16)  So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.

(17)  And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

(18)  And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.

(19)  And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money.

(20)  And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.


Thought For This Chapter…


(4)  And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.


Here, Genesis 33:, Jacob’s brother, Esau, gives a wonderful example of merciful forgiveness in the face of deserved wrath.

Please keep in mind, from a human standpoint, Esau had some very good reasons to punish his brother Jacob.  Jacob had stolen from Esau both his birthright and his blessing.  With his birthright gave him a double-share of the family inheritance and placed him in a leadership position of the family.  With the blessing came his father’s words of encouragement and prophetic words concerning his inheritance and major future events in his life.  Both of these were deceitfully stolen from Esau by Jacob.

Esau’s great loss originally caused him to desire Jacob’s death (Gen 27:41), but eventually Esau was given a spirit of forgiveness from the Lord.  This allowed him to graciously humble himself to his brother who had so greatly wronged him.

What a wonderful example for each one of us to follow.  To be willing to forgive others even as Christ forgave us!  Just like Christ’s forgiveness of us, it should not matter what was done to us or how great our loss, when given the chance, we need to be willing to forgive others of their offenses against us.  It is one of the greatest ways we can put the love, mercy and grace of Christ on exhibit for others around us.


Col 3:12-14 KJV

(12)  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

(13)  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

(14)  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
















Humble faith… this is perhaps the most wonderful gift that can be had by sinful mankind.  This type of faith is one that looks to the Lord for all things, realizing that without Him we can do nothing.  This is the type of faith that was strengthened as Jacob wrestled with the Angel (Christ Himself – vs 30) in our section of Scripture for today.


In this short account (Genesis 32:24-29), we find how the Lord builds our faith through the use of trials and other oppositions in our lives…



“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day”.

–        The Lord sends, or allows trials in our lives to build our faith that stems from humility.


“And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.”

–        This was an act that increased Jacob’s humility.  Although it APPEARED as if Jacob’s strength was overcoming the Lord, in actuality, the Lord was allowing Jacob to prevail over Him.  This was proven by the Lord throwing Jacob’s hip out of joint, disabling him and leaving Jacob with a permanent reminder of the need to humbly trust in Him no matter what opposition we may face

–        .

“And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”

–        Being humbled by the Lord only produced a greater faith in Jacob’s heart.


“And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.  And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”

–        Based upon Jacob’s increasing humble faith, his name was changed.  This change reflected he was no longer harmful to others as a “heel catcher”, but his life and testimony would be beneficial to others as he possessed power with God as a “prince with God”.



“And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.”

–        What began as a time of opposition and trial in Jacob’s life ended up being a time of great blessing for him and all of God’s people after him.



Through this event, we can see one of the greatest roles that life’s opposition play in our lives. … to grow our humble faith, developing a deeper trust in Christ as we recognize our total inability without Him…



Mar 9:24 KJV

(24)  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.





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