Read Genesis 33:1-11
When we first encounter Esau, his life not characterized by joy or happiness. It was full of bitterness and anger, disappointment and frustration. He manages to lose his birthright and his blessing, threaten to kill his only sibling, and annoy his parents, all within a single chapter of the Bible. He is not one of the good guys of the Biblical narrative.
But by the time he reappears in the narrative, something has changed. After one of the great build-ups to a fight in all of Scripture, when he meets his brother Jacob, it is with a hug and mutual admiration. Esau is the tough guy – the hunter/killer. What gives? What happened?
Unfortunately, there is little in the text to explain Esau’s change of heart but it seems to be connected to his own prosperity. Perhaps Esau came to see that while he did not receive the greater blessing that Jacob did, he was still greatly blessed. Jacob received the blessing and then went into exile. He was tricked on his wedding night. His father-in-law hated him. Esau’s “unblessed” life was pretty calm by contrast.
Thank you, God, for the lesser blessings. Thank you that you care enough and know us so well that you open only the doors that we can walk through.