Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Face of God A Spiritual Look at Issues of Interest to Young People

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Face of God A Spiritual Look at Issues of Interest to Young People

Article excerpt

Brothers and sisters can be very different. That's the way it was with two guys named Sol and Jack. What made it hard, though, was that their parents played favorites. Dad favored Sol, and Mom favored Jack. But Sol usually came out ahead because he was older.

Jack didn't like this, so he started tricking Sol. One day, when Sol was really hungry, he asked for some special soup Jack had made. Jack agreed to give him some, on one condition: Sol would have to give up his rights as the older son, and give them to Jack. He wasn't kidding about this. He wanted to take something that wasn't his.

Later, their father wanted to give Sol the blessing fathers gave to their oldest sons. But Jack dressed up like Sol and tricked his dad (who couldn't see very well) into giving him the blessing instead! When Sol heard this, he was ready to kill Jack. So Jack had to run away - and start a new life. Jack began having long talks with God. Unforgettable conversations, where Jack heard God tell him what was right. God promised Jack that He'd take care of him and his family. And gradually, Jack learned not to be dishonest, the way he had been with his brother. With God's help, Jack became a successful farmer and had many children. But he wanted to go back home. Eventually, the time was right. The night before the two brothers met each other for the first time in 20 years, Jack was scared. But God appeared to him again - and changed how he thought. Jack saw the face of God that night. So he named the place where this happened Peniel, which means "face of God." The next day, Sol ran to meet Jack. He hugged and kissed him. Jack told his brother, "When you welcomed me and I saw your face, it was like seeing the face of God" (Gen. 33:10, Contemporary English Version). You can read about this in the Bible or in the Koran. As you'll see, Jack's real name is Jacob, and his brother's is Esau. Actually, anyone can see the face of God. But sometimes we don't do this until we have to. …

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