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Deuteronomy 2:2, 4-5
“Then the LORD said to me, ‘… “You are about to pass through the territory of your brothers, the people of Esau, who live in Seir. … Do not contend with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as the soul of the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession.”’”

If you were with me during our study through Genesis a few years ago, you’ll recall reflecting on how grievous Jacob’s treachery toward Esau was. You’ll recall how Jacob, rightly called “the trickster,” first exploited Esau’s intense hunger to manipulate an unfair trade out of him. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink,” writes Paul in Romans 12:20, and he never added the phrase, “Oh, and make sure to bleed him dry in the process!”, which is what Jacob did.

But Jacob was just getting started. A little further down the road, as Esau set out on another hunting expedition to hunt, kill, and prepare his father’s favorite meal, Jacob throws on his best Esau costume, practices some impersonations in the mirror, and steals the blessing his brother merited. The sight of Isaac and Esau trembling together, and of Esau sobbing like a baby once the rouse is laid bare, still makes my skin crawl. That event tore this family apart for more than a decade, and it could’ve continued for a lifetime had God not intervened to change both Jacob and Esau’s hearts. Oh, how marvelous the scene of their later embrace! How poetic the picture of their redemptive reunion! How the tears of forgiveness pooled in the sands of that barren relationship and bubbled up through the ancient scroll! God not only eradicated Jacob’s deceptive nature and Esau’s embittered heart, but also generations of bloody feuding that would’ve sprung from them. That’s why I love the sternness and firmness of God’s words here in Deuteronomy 2. Jacob has stolen enough of Esau’s blessing, and God won’t put up with any more heel-grabbing in this family drama.

Though the complete record of God’s working in Esau’s kin is not recorded in this divine Testament, we can be sure it’s recorded in Heaven’s chronicles, in the full telling of redemption’s story. And I for one can’t wait to read it!