The Face of God!
Posted by Stan Rodda
Today, I sat down to read my Bible. Day 11 of my “Read through the Bible in a Year” plan. The plan starts in the book of Genesis which seems to me to be a pretty logical place to start. I have been blown away at many spots about God’s interaction with man. The relationship God wants to have with us is pretty special. Today I read Genesis 31-33. We’re really starting to get to the heart of some of the Patriarchs and some of the greatest stories of faith in all of Scripture in these chapters. Joseph’s story is just around the corner and I can’t wait to read it again.
I digress. In Genesis 33, there is a verse that reached up and slapped me in the face. I mean that in the best way possible. In this chapter, there is a reunion of two brothers, Jacob & Esau. It’s a beautiful reunion after an ugly break up around 20 years earlier. Jacob had stolen Esau’s birthright and the last time they talked, Esau had committed his life to killing Jacob. Now, Jacob was going back home with his family; wife, children, servants and animals. Their reunion is one of the heart-warming stories of the Bible, full of restoration, forgiveness and love.
Verse 11 really got me thinking. It says…
But Jacob insisted, ‘No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!’
The night before, Jacob had wrestled with “God.” In fact, after the wrestling match, God renamed Jacob, Israel because he had fought with God and men and had won. Jacob, now Israel, named that place, Peniel, which means, ‘face of God.’ To me, that’s fascinating.
This made me ask myself the question, “When people see me, what do they see?”
Seriously, when people see us (followers of Christ) coming toward them, what do they think? Are they excited because we are coming? Do they see us and light up because they know they are going to have a positive encounter with someone when life is tough? Or do they look at us and think, “Oh crap, not him/her again”?
What face do we give to people? How are we helping them see God in the way we live and in the very smile on our face?
Does the waitress go home sad because of her encounter with you?
Does the flight attendant have to send someone else because of your bad attitude?
Do your co-workers dread sitting next to you in a meeting?
What face are we giving God? Because when we say we believe in God and that we are Christians, then we follow that up with anger, bitterness, an unforgiving spirit or a constant frown and pessimism. And when people make that connection, how does that change their view of God?
I have more questions probably than answers, but this verse really got me thinking. I want people to see God in me. When I come into Starbucks, I want the workers to be excited that I’m there. When I walk into church, I want people to see me and feel glad that I work with them. I want friends who are hurting to be able to see me coming toward them and know that they are going to get a dose of encouragement and love. When I come home at night, I want my wife to smile. I want my kids to meet me at the door with hugs. I want them to feel that when dad comes home, when hubby comes home, then so does a piece of God.
Maybe we all need to think about what impression of God we are giving off. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way. But when two brothers, estranged for 20 years, threats of murder the last time they talked, can see each other for the first time and proclaim, “Your smile is like the face of God,” how much more should we be the face of God to people in our broken world.
What do you think?
Examples I missed?
What would you add?
About Stan RoddaFollower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.
Posted on January 11, 2011, in bible, disciplines, Family, God, Jesus, Life, love, marriage, outreach, relationships, social settings, the basics, the culture, the nation, the world. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.