“And what a relief to see your friendly smile.
It was like seeing the face of God!”
It had been twenty years since Jacob deceitfully wronged Esau and had to flee for his life. Assuming his brother still held resentment toward him, he was not surprised to hear that Esau was on his way to meet him with 400 fighting men.
Scared to death, Jacob quickly sent 550 animals ahead as gifts to appease his brother’s obvious anger. Little did he know that sometime during those long years, Esau had made the most crucial decision of his life…he chose to forgive his brother. So, instead of approaching Jacob with the sword, Esau “ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.” What a stunning picture of Godly forgiveness.
Jacob described the impact of his brother’s friendly smile with these words, “It was like seeing the face of God!” What a description of Esau’s countenance, especially when we consider that the previous night Jacob had wrestled with a Man and afterwards exclaimed, “I have seen God face to face…” That image was surely fresh in Jacob’s mind when he compared the smile on Esau’s face to the Face he had seen only hours before.
So, if the smile of forgiveness looks like God’s face, then what a powerful way for us to show the world what God looks like!