Magic eye posters were the coolest thing to hit fourth grade. You’d stare at the picture as close as you could, stare at it for a while and then slowly pull it away, hoping another image would pop out at you.
I had the hardest time seeing those hidden images though. My friends would always point out the picture when they saw it, but they saw something I couldn’t. It always seemed to take me longer to finally get it.
God has given us a similar picture through his Scripture. For some, it takes longer to see the image He conveys, but it’s still there. Today, God has given us a beautiful picture of His grace.
Read Genesis 33. Yes, the whole thing.
It’s only 20 verses and will take you less than three minutes.
In this chapter, Jacob is returning home. After wrestling with and being blessed by God, Jacob is about to meet his brother… The one he took their father’s birthright and blessing from and Esau was ready to kill him.
Not too long ago, he was scared about returning home, obviously. He sent a gift of livestock ahead to his brother. This was the custom of those days, perhaps to sweeten him up.
Jacob was terrified of what Esau would do.
He imagined his brother, the mighty, strong and rugged man, being ready to kill him for all that he had done to him… With an army with him.
And finally, the moment arrived, and Jacob saw his brother. He bowed seven times, low to the ground, as if honoring him as a king.
And what did Esau do?
Did he pull his sword out and give Jacob what he deserved?
Did he put shackles on him and throw him in prison?
Did he slaughter his family?
“And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” (Genesis 33:4)
Esau had every right to take revenge on his brother, but instead, he graciously embraced him and welcomed him home.
Grace. What a beautiful picture of God’s love towards us.
Just as Jacob, we too can come to God and be changed. And even though our sins are great, God does not give us what we deserve when we return to Him, humbled and seeking forgiveness. He has mercy on us and shows us that we are loved.
You may have messed up, big time.
You may have done some things that are just downright terrible.
You may carry around shame, regret and fear that someone will find out your deepest and darkest sins.
But God, rich in love and mercy, wants you to come to Him and surrender everything you have been holding onto.
God wants you to humble yourself, bow at His feet, and recognizing Him as your King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
You are forgiven. And now, you will be changed. You too will be given a new name – child of God. You are now a joint heir to the throne in the kingdom of God.
Don’t wait. Run to Jesus today!
The joyous reunion Esau and Jacob had is one that awaits you with our Father in heaven. Let His embrace envelope you with His love and mercy!