Focal Passage: Gen 27:41; 33:1-11
Nicole is an artist living in the San Francisco area. She makes a modest living selling paintings, but Nicole’s adoptive family is wealthy. Her college education was paid for and like the rest of her family she anticipated receiving a fairly sizeable inheritance. Then something happened. Nicole participated in a documentary about the children of the really wealthy, without telling her grandfather. She knew it was a huge risk to be the first person in her family to talk openly about their wealth. And she was right to fear judgment. After all, Nicole’s grandfather is Warren Buffet, one of the richest men on the planet.
After Nicole’s appearances on television promoting the documentary, her grandfather sent her a letter stating: “I have not emotionally or legally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or a cousin.” When asked about the issue a Buffet spokesperson said: “Nicole is not Mr. Buffett’s granddaughter. She is the daughter of a former daughter-in-law of his who was married to his son for only about 10 years.”
Wealth provides little insulation from the trauma of broken relationships. The Bible contains its fair share of broken relationship stories. Brothers Jacob and Esau are one such story of a broken relationship that God restores.
Esau is so angry with his brother for tricking him out of his birthright that he planned to kill him as soon as their father’s death was properly mourned (Genesis 27:41). Jacob ran from Esau and his death threat. After 20 years passed, the two brothers were on a collision course to meet again. Jacob knew his sin. And, in order to demonstrate his understanding of his sin, he extended gifts to Esau and bowed before him when they meet.
Broken relationships cannot be restored until one of the parties is willing take the initiative to show humility toward the other. Because Christ has taken the initiative with us (Romans 5:8), we are able, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to humbly seek restoration when our relationships with each other are broken.