“This is what the LORD says: ‘For three offenses of Edom, and for four, I will not revoke its punishment, because he pursued his brother with the sword and stifled his compassion; his anger also tore continually, and he maintained his fury forever.’”
I had an older brother named Tim. He passed away this past July 27th. I miss him. I often think about our growing up years. Let me tell you – we definitely had sibling rivalry. We wrestled all the time. My mom would threaten us with a spanking if we didn’t stop. Even though we fought a lot, we loved each other. That’s what siblings do, right?
Edom was the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother. Remember, Jacob was the father of Israel who is the target of Amos’ prophecy. God always protected that relationship, even though it was strained. He never allowed Israel to invade and take Edom’s land. But after Edom turned on their “family” God had had enough. Judgment is sometimes delayed, but never forgotten.
Let me ask you a question. Do you have a sibling with whom you have fought and argued with? Did you leave that in childhood or has it carried over into your lives as adults? What boundaries have you set in your relationship? Rivalries lead to heartbreak. Rivalries lead to hurt feelings. Rivalries are not healthy.
So, what do we do with them? We lay them down. We pray for peace and then pursue it. Sometimes that means saying those challenging words – I’m sorry. Yep! Those words are hard to get past our front teeth, aren’t they? But once we say them, we realize they are not terminal. Try it.
I learned a lot from my older brother. Little brothers watch their older brothers to learn how to play well with others. Little brothers learn how to do a lot of stuff just by watching their older brothers. I am thankful for my older brother. He loved well. He played hard. And he loved his Lord. See you soon, Tim.
Father, thank You for putting our siblings in our lives. We may not appreciate them when we are young, but you allow us time to see how much they mean to us.