“Jacob said, “No, please; if I find favor with you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God—since you have received me with such favor.” Genesis 33:10 (NRSV)
In our English language, we miss out on one of the key play-on-words in this story. In verse 33:10 when it says that Jacob offers Esau a ‘present’—the Hebrew word for ‘present’ is ‘blessing.’ So the very thing that Jacob stole when they were young, for which Esau should still want to kill Jacob, is offered after all these years. And so says Jacob, “here…please accept my ‘blessing.’”
In this dysfunctional family reconciliation happens, past wrongs are righted, fairness and justice give way to grace and redemption. Jacob goes on in this verse to say something that may seem strange; he says to Esau, “truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God.” Why? Because Jacob immediately recognizes the grace that has been extended.
Is there someone in your past with whom you need to be reconciled? Is there a dysfunctional situation that cries out for grace and redemption—beyond what ‘ought’ to be or ‘should’ be? What part do you play in this story? Are you Jacob humbly offering a ‘present/blessing’ with prayers that it will be accepted? Are you more like Esau, in a position to demand justice or to inflict deserved hurt?
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously. Micah 6:8 (THE MESSAGE)
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the undeserved grace you offer to me. Allow me grace in my encounters both intentional and unintentional today. Bring to mind those with whom I need to extend grace and reconciliation and give me the courage to offer a blessing. Amen.