ENGLISH VERSION - Bulletin Nº 56 October 17, 2021
HEALING FOR THE SOUL - PART 02
by Rev. Renato Souza Prates
One of the factors that most sickens the human heart is the lack of forgiveness.
Many people who today live bitter and unhappy only feel that way because they did not reach forgiveness in a past disagreement. They have become deeply ill and are dying emotionally and physically, day after day, because they have not yet achieved healing through forgiveness.
These people are hurt with family, friends, brothers in Christ and even with God in many cases, simply because He would not have answered some request, the way they imagined.
Today the Word of the Lord will show us the example of two men who, even though they are twin brothers, found healing through forgiveness!
Chapter 32 of Genesis reports that after 20 years of serving his father-in-law Laban, 14 years for Rachel, his wife, and another 6 years of work, Jacob is now on his way with his family, his servants and everything he has to meet his greatest enemy – his brother Esau.
The quarrels between Jacob and Esau began with the twins' gestation, when the two were fighting in the womb of their mother Rebekah. According to Genesis 25, Jacob was born holding his brother's heel, so they called him Jacob or Usurper.
When the boys were grown up, Jacob took advantage of a moment of Esau's weakness and made him sell his birthright for a plate of bread and lentils. The birthrights were given to the eldest son, who began to enjoy most of the assets and benefits in the family, in addition to exercising greater responsibility and leadership in front of the group.
Chapter 27 of Genesis reveals how Jacob deceived his father, with the help of his mother, to achieve two things: The blessing of being the firstborn and the mortal wrath of his brother Esau.
Jacob then runs away from his father's house to have tremendous experiences with God, such as the vision of the heavenly ladder at Bethel and his prosperity in the home of his uncle and father-in-law Laban. (Genesis 29).
The encounter of Jacob and Esau reported in chapter 33 of Genesis is an experience of healing through forgiveness between twin brothers who have been enemies for 20 years.
But this has also been the experience of many of us, who along our journey, we end up creating enmities with family, friends and brothers in Christ, which have lasted for years and sicken our hearts.
Today we will see how to find HEALING FOR THE SOUL through forgiveness!
When we look at Genesis 33, we first realize that:
1. FORGIVENESS REQUIRES A HEART BROKEN BY THE LORD (1-3)
We must remember that several times, Jacob was broken by the Lord:
• He had to flee his parents' house to sleep on a stone pillow and meet God at Bethel.
• He had to be exploited by his father-in-law Laban for 20 years, including taking damage from the herds in his care (Genesis 31).
• he Was pursued by Laban, when he again left his home as a fugitive.
• he was terrified when he learned that his brother Esau had an army of 400 men coming towards him (32-33).
• he Fought with a male at the ford of Jabbok and came out with a wounded thigh. (32).
• he prostrated himself 7 times until he approached his brother (33.3)
Notice how Jacob refers to his brother as a servant at all times, even though he received the birthright blessing. Only a broken heart is capable of this!
Forgiveness heals, but it requires breaking. It often takes 20 years to prepare for reconciliation. Other times, just a few days or months will be enough.
In second place:
2. IF WE DO OUR PART, GOD WILL DO HIS IN THE HEART THAT NEEDS TO FORGIVE US (V.4)
In addition to having a broken heart for the Lord:
Jacob did everything in his power to get his brother's forgiveness.
• He sent his own family ahead of him to try to move his brother's heart.
• He humbled himself by prostrating himself 7 times in the presence of his brother.
• He sent a very rich gift of hundreds of animals in front of him, showing that he had no material interest in reconciling with his brother.
Now the rest was up to God! And the miracle of reconciliation took place:
Verse 4 says that Esau ran to him, embraced him, grabbed him by the neck and kissed him, and they both wept deeply! What a most impressive scene of forgiveness!
We need to do our part in forgiveness so that God breaks those on the other side. Often the person is just waiting for a sign from us, to hug us and reconcile with us!
I remember that I had a very serious emotional problem with someone in my youth and the problem had been consuming me for 8 years. Apparently, there was no way to reconcile. One day, I decided to send a message on Facebook and to my surprise the message was answered with the following sentence: Hi! Alright? I have so much affection for you! From then on, our friendship was resumed, our hearts were healed and we are still friends today!
Someone may be waiting for a message from you! God will reveal to you when the time is right to take the first step towards reconciliation! Do your part and God will do His!
3. WALK ONE MORE MILE IS PART OF FORGIVENESS (12-17)
Verse 12 says that Esau invited Jacob to walk with him to his land.
Although Jacob presented the difficulty of the fatigue of the journey to his brother, the text says that Jacob followed right behind Esau to the final destination.
We must understand that forgiveness will require us to walk another mile with the one who has forgiven us. Walking another mile means giving it one more chance. But I will illustrate this better by telling an example from my mother.
Many years ago, an elder in the church seriously injured my mother's honor. My father, knowing the situation and realizing that she had no emotional conditions to deal with that situation, confronted that Elder by practicing what Matthew 18:15 says: “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother”. Some time later, the elder came to my mother asking for her forgiveness. Her response was: "I forgive you, but our friendship starts from scratch starting today."
Her attitude was one of forgiveness, allowing that elder to progressively recover from his error. And this actually happened!
Forgiveness does not mean giving the keys of your heart to those who once dwelt in you and betray your trust. Forgiveness means allowing that same person to gain your trust again! This is walking a second mile!
Today we learn or remember that forgiveness is a precious antidote to healing the soul.
1. FORGIVENESS REQUIRES A HEART BROKEN BY THE LORD
2. IF WE DO OUR PART, GOD WILL DO HIS IN THE HEART THAT NEEDS TO FORGIVE US
3. WALK ONE MORE MILE IS PART OF FORGIVENESS
From this Sunday on, you will enjoy a Revelation Series with Dr. Joel Beeke. It is amazing studies from which we can learn more about this instigating book.
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