by Rev Joel Yong
Genesis 33:10 ESV
Jacob said, No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me.
He had just wrestled with God the night before and said these very words-
Genesis 32:30 ESV
So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.
Now he likens meeting his brother Esau to that of seeing God’s face.
You see, he recognizes grace when he sees it.
He did not deserve to live after meeting God.
The holiness of God cannot tolerate sin in its midst. Yet a sinner like Jacob survived- God let him live. Out of grace.
In like manner he had sinned against Esau and cheated him of his birthright many years ago- such that Esau swore to kill him.
Yet, Esau spares him now!
And Jacob recognizes it.
He is undeserving but forgiven.
This encounter with God and subsequently with Esau, has changed Jacob. Its not just his name that has been changed from Jacob to Israel. His heart has changed.
In the immediate next chapter- Jacob now known as Israel leads his entire household in pledging to follow God.
Genesis 35:1-4 ESV
God said to Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau. So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone. So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.
What about you?
Do you recognize grace when you see it?
God forgave you, do you see and know forgiveness as it appears in this life journey of yours?
If so, love as Jesus loved you.
Forgive as He forgave you.