the perfect day to realize that our guilt can make a bad situation worse.
“When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, ‘We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Genesis 32:6 NIV
The mind is a powerful weapon for Satan to use against us. He can manipulate the way we think and cause us to see things in a manner other than what actually constitutes the truth. Especially when we know that we were wrong, Satan will use our guilt to make a bad situation worse.
Take the situation that Jacob found himself in. He had stolen his older brother’s birthright many years before and Esau had threatened to kill him. The passage of time had made Esau realize that he missed his brother and that their relationship was more important than any material things that were lost as a result of his brother’s deceit. But Jacob’s guilt caused him to think the worst when his messengers told him that Esau was coming to him with 400 men. He was certain that Esau was coming to destroy him.
He did the right thing, though. He didn’t let his fear cause him to do anything rash. He turned to God and expressed his fear and asked God to look after him and his family. Even though his guilt caused him to initially misinterpret the situation, he did not allow that guilt to cause him to react in a way that would have had disastrous consequences. Looking to God proved to be the right thing to do, and Jacob set aside his fear to face his brother whom he had wronged.
“Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” (Genesis 33:4 NASB).
Thousands of years later, things have not changed; our guilt will be manipulated by Satan as he attempts to make things worse than they need to be. Our mind will tell us that something we have done wrong will get worse if we face up to it. Sometimes we make the mistake of listening and go ahead and make a bad situation worse.
Just think what would have happened had Jacob given in to his initial fear and impulse. He would have met Esau with force, Esau and his men would have reacted in kind, and a disaster that was avoidable would have ensued.
While it is true that Jacob did a terrible thing when he cheated his older brother out of his birthright, he did the right thing in the end when he turned to God for guidance and reassurance.
We all make mistakes, but all mistakes can be dealt with if we turn to God for the courage and wisdom to do so, and doing so can definitely keep us from making a bad situation worse.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson