Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

Unforgiveness

The challenge.

Amos 1:11–12

Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of Edom, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because he pursued his brother with the sword,
And cast off all pity;
His anger tore perpetually,
And he kept his wrath forever.
But I will send a fire upon Teman,
Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”

Jacob’s (Israel’s) brother, Esau, was called Edom (which means red) because of his red hair. The land where his descendants settled is called Edom. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, but Jacob stole Issacs’s “oldest son” blessing outright from Esau. When Esau showed up to get his blessing, he was shaken.

And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me—me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:

“Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth,
And of the dew of heaven from above.

By your sword you shall live,
And you shall serve your brother;
And it shall come to pass, when you become restless,
That you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
— Genesis 28:38–40

But Esau forgave Jacob—completely. Years later, when Jacob heard that Esau was coming to meet him, he was so scared he that he divided his family so that some might survive Esau’s wrath.

Now Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and there, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants. And he put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children behind, and Rachel and Joseph last. Then he crossed over before them and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. — Genesis 33:1–4

But Esau’s descendants unforgave Jacob. As we saw in verses 6–10, they enslaved many Israelis.


“Forgive and forget.” The challenge with forgiveness is making it permanent. Only then is it genuine.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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