There once were two friends travelling in a desert. They got into an argument. In the heat of the moment, one slapped the other. The one who was slapped, wrote on the sand: Today, my best friend slapped me.
When they came to an oasis, they decided to take a bath. The one who was slapped, slipped and fell in the mire, started to drown. Her friend pulled her out and saved her life. The one who nearly drowned wrote on the stone: Today my friend saved my life.
When someone hurt you, write it on the sand where the wind will blow it away. When someone helped you, engrave it on the stone where nothing will erase it.
“For to see your face is like seeing the face of God!” Who said this? To who? how? where? when? WHY?
To who: Esau (Jacob’s twin who wanted to kill him.)
Where/When: On the way home to return to his father Isaac; after running away/hiding from Esau.
WHY? Esau wanted to kill Jacob after he stole Esau’s birthright (Gen. 27-28). After so many years of hiding, God told him to go back home (Gen. 31:3).
Jacob feared that Esau might still be mad at him and ready to kill him:
1) He prayed to God about his fear (32:9-12).
2) He planned and strategised what he’s going to do to meet Esau (32:13-21).
3) He changed his plan again when he saw Esau (33:1-3).
Then what? I could imagine how pleasantly shocked Jacob was as I read v. 4
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.
The brother-turned-enemy became his brother again. Jacob exclaimed: Seeing you is like seeing the face of God! Why? Because now you have received me favourably.
Lessons to learn:
Favour – an attitude of approval or liking; an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual.
Indeed, what a joy it is to have favour with God and man – that is how Jesus was described when he was growing as a boy. The same was described of Samuel: that he grew in favour with God and man.
Am I not happy when people affirm me? Do I not find satisfaction in gaining the approval of friends and family? How comforting is it to receive a kind word, warm hug and a firm pat on the shoulder when I’m feeling down! Whatever blessing I have, is it not a favour – an act of kindness from God beyond what is due me?
How many of my friends and family members or even strangers do i see as like seeing the face of God? Perhaps, many are, in different ways at different times, sometimes taken for granted?
When people see me, will they say that seeing me is like seeing the face of God? Do I extend the same favour that God gives me to others who need it? Do I forgive as God forgives? Am I kind as He is kind? How do I treat those who have wronged me? What is my attitude when I am the one who has done wrong? How do I extend mercy? How do I receive grace?