The Face of God
Scripture Reading — Genesis 32:22-32
Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
—Genesis 32:30 —
In our culture we have many devices to stay connect-ed—phone, email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and more. And yet we travel great distances to have face to face contact. We long for the times when we can express ourselves in person with one another.
In the human realm face to face contact is important. But can you imagine what it would be like to have a face to face meeting with God?
In the Bible, the first person who speaks of encountering the face of the Lord is Jacob, after his wrestling match with an angel of the Lord, who spoke to him on God’s behalf and with God’s authority.
Jacob was completely changed from that encounter. He received a new name, Israel, and that meant he had a new identity, given to him by God. As a result, new opportunities opened up for him.
That morning, Israel (Jacob) limped away with God’s blessing, and he set off to reconcile with his brother, Esau. Because Jacob was changed, he said later to Esau, “To see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably” (Genesis 33:10). That was remarkable, as jealousy and bitterness melted away after Jacob’s encounter with God.
Do you or I need to have an encounter with God to see our brother or sister in a new way?
O Lord, we seek your face; we want to know you. Your promises are a treasury of life and new possibilities that we can find in you alone. Amen.