Saturday, January 13

Seeing God’s face

Scripture: Genesis 31-33, Luke 13

Genesis 33:10 But Jacob said, “No, please! If I have found favor with you, take this gift from my hand. For indeed, I have seen your face, and it is like seeing God’s face, since you have accepted me.”


Jacob’s elaborate appeasement of his brother reveals both his fear and guilt.  He knew he had been a weasel, and he feared his brother’s reprisal, especially when he heard that Esau was coming to greet him with an army (400 men)!

But Esau was a model of grace.  In fact, Jesus used the description of Esau’s actions in 33:4 to describe the father’s response to the prodigal son: Esau “ran to meet him, hugged him, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”  (cp. Luke 15:20)

Jacob was so relieved that he said, “to see your face is like seeing the face of God.”  This could mean several things:

It might be metaphorical, similar to saying, “I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.”  We say this when things have worked out better than we hoped.

It might be an acknowledgment of God’s work.  Jacob may be saying that he sees God’s gracious hand in his brother’s response.

It might be that reconciliation and forgiveness are God-like, and that when we are face-to-face in reconciled relationships, we are “seeing the face of God.”  We are seeing what God is like!  (cp. 1 John 4:12)  God is a reconciler!


One of the most God-like things we can do is to forgive others and seek reconciliation.  One of the best ways to see God is to make peace with your brother.

Is there anyone with whom I need to bury the hatchet?  Seek peace?  Reconcile?  Move toward them today.

Prayer: Lord, help me to lay down every offense and move toward my brother who has offended me, or whom I have offended.  Help me to be as gracious as Esau, and may others see God’s face in me.