Whose Face Do You Dread Seeing?


Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.”         Jacob said, “I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. Genesis 33:8-10

         The last time Jacob saw Esau, he feared his murderous rage. He threatened to kill Jacob for stealing his inheritance. Now, years later, it is clear that Esau moved on and relinquished his need for revenge. He accumulated a degree of wealth and saw prosperity as God’s favor. Only a shalom with God could prompt him to say, “I have enough favor. Keep what you have, my brother.” This moved Jacob so deeply that he called Esau’s face – the face of God.

         This wasn’t just poetry. The night before this meeting, Jacob had actually seen the face of God in his all-night wrestling match. When it had ended, Jacob named the place ‘Peniel’ which means ‘I saw God’s face and lived.’ What did Jacob wrestle with God about? Considering the timing, it was probably over Esau. Jacob was afraid of his brother, suffered from regret and shame, and needed peace in his soul. Before he could find peace with Esau, he needed peace with God.

         From whom are you estranged today? When it’s someone in the family, the fracture wears on you and takes years off your life.  You relive strained conversations over and over again. Regret hangs over the relationship like a dark cloud. The dread of seeing this person keeps you imprisoned in a place of fear. They don’t move toward you because of anger. You don’t move toward them because you’re afraid. What ends the stalemate? Seeing the face of God.

         “The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps.27:1 How can I move from a cold recitation of this bible verse to real peace and strength? A wrestling match with God. I must take all my regrets, my sins, my failures (and all the self-talk that comes with them), and relinquish them in the presence of God. I’ve had many wrestling matches in my life with Him. Some lasted days, others spanned years. God wanted to forgive. I couldn’t accept it. God wanted to love me. I objected because of my unworthiness. God wanted me to face a painful place by physically going there. I feared that would cause me to regress rather than heal. I have many spiritual monuments in my journey that are marked, “I have seen the face of God and lived.”

         Whose face do you dread seeing? What reunion have you been putting off? Seek God first and the strength of His peace will be the spiritual fuel you need to make a phone call or go and knock on the door of the one who despises you. Shalom awaits.

My relationship with you has been messy, Lord. You have been faithful to lead me through my own objections and unbelief.   Your face is beyond words. Amen

Journal Question: Who is it that you have dreaded seeing? Write down all your objections and take each one to God today.

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