In the book of Genesis, there is the story of Jacob and Esau. Tucked away in Genesis 27:40 (NIV), it says this about Esau, ”But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.” A yoke of unforgiveness. Jacob had been deceitful and taken Esau’s blessing from their father. Rage and revenge filled Esau. How could his brother sink so low to steal his blessing from his father while he lay dying? It says in Genesis 27 :41 (NIV), “Esau held a grudge against Jacob.” He was waiting until the days of mourning were over, so he could kill his brother for what he had done to him. But Jacob learned of this and ran away.
Unforgiveness will eat away at you, and steal your peace in God. Let it go, let it go. Throw that yoke of unforgivness from off you and be free from it. Do not let it bring you down.
Unforgivness brings separation. Separation from family and friends, also separation from the blessings of the Lord. Here is something that many people read, but do not do it as much as they should: Matthew 5:23 to 25 in the Amplified Bible says this, ”So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you. Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift.”
Many people carry about with them, unforgiveness that is like a yoke around their necks. They can do so for years. Someone once said to me, “Time is a healer.”
Now turn with me to the book of Genesis chapter 33: 4 (NIV). Twenty-two years have passed. The brothers have not seen each other for that length of time. Jacob was worried about what of kind of reaction he would get from his brother. Would he still be holding the grudge against him? Would he still want to kill him? The Bible says this, “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” In that moment, he threw off the yoke of unforgivenness, and embraced his brother in his arms and wept.
When Joseph’s brothers ill-treated him and sold him into slavery, he was left to rot in jail. But, God saw his heart, he never let unforgivenness get the better of him. Many years later, when he saw his brothers, he remembered what they did to him; at first he was upset, but then he wept before them and embraced them. He showed them forgiveness, grace and mercy.
My friend, the Bible says in Ephesians 4:27 (NIV)” Do not give the devil a foothold .” Do not let the yoke of unforgiveness bind itself around you. Throw off the yoke of unforgiveness, and let mercy, grace, peace, love and forgiveness from God reign in your heart.
God bless you my friend, Matthew.