“. . .for therefore I have seen your face, as though I had seen the Face of God and you were pleased with me.”
If we’ve tasted of His Grace, we need not wonder what He’ll say to us when we finally see Him face-to-Face.
One of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do in life is look into the eyes of someone we’ve hurt or wronged and ask their forgiveness. Perhaps it was an accident or a misunderstanding—but, even now we can still see the pained look in their eyes and hear their deep groaning as they struggled to cope. And, the agony we feel is even worse if their pain was caused by some sin of commission on our part, knowing such words or deeds can never be taken back.
Although Jacob hadn’t really stolen Esau’s birthright (Gen. 25:27-34), he still knew how important that inheritance was to the oldest son; yet, he still used his brother’s character weakness to his advantage, which later contributed to his hatred toward him. And, he certainly knew it was wrong to deceive his blind father so he could steal Esau’s blessing, even though his mother put him up to it (27:1-30).
So, we can understand the fear and trepidation Jacob felt that day when he finally saw his brother face-to-face after 20 years’ separation. He desperately wanted to be reconciled with his twin brother, while also making sure he still didn’t have murderous feelings toward him. Thankfully, the Lord God of Abraham had already done a good work of Grace in Esau’s life and he was able/willing to show his estranged brother the same Grace he’d received.
Oh, dear Pilgrim, so often we act just like Jacob when it comes to drawing near to Christ. We know He’s invited us to “come boldly to His Throne of Grace that we may obtain Mercy and find Grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
But, we don’t come boldly.
Instead, like a poor beggar. . .with hat in hand. . .shuffling up to the backdoor of a stranger to ask for a piece of bread. . .we inwardly hope that somehow the Lord “will be pleased with us”. . . forgetting all the while that He said “I am satisfied” when Jesus said “It is finished” on the Cross.
Like Esau, the Heavenly Father says “I have enough, My child” when we offer our gifts of good works, benevolent deeds, acts of sacrifice, etc., so we can “find grace in His sight” (v.8). But, like Jacob, we continue to insist, saying “No, I beg You, if now I have found Grace in Your sight, then receive these presents at my hand” (v.10a)—forgetting how such persistent pleading grieves the heart of the Giver.
Weary one, there’s nothing we have to offer that can appease Him—for He “owns the cattle on 1,000 hills” (Ps. 50:10). He simply wants us to accept His free Gift of Grace and rest in Him, knowing we’re “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). As someone said, “There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us more. . .or less.” Glory!! Why not thank Him even now, dear Pilgrim, and show your thanks to Him by loving Him every day with every part of your being? Then, look forward to that day when you’ll hear Him say “Well done! Welcome Home!!”
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 26, 2009