I am writing to you from my camp near Shechem and staring up at an altar I just built. I called it “El-Elohe-Israel” which means “Mighty is the God of Israel.” That probably doesn’t make much sense to you right now but if you have a few minutes, I want to tell you why I built it and why I gave it that name.
I have spent the last 20 years on the run because I was afraid of you. I did some pretty messed up stuff to you when we were younger and if I remember right, you wanted to kill me for it. Honestly, I can’t blame you.
But the God of our father and his father told me to come back here,
So I came back.
I was terrified; scared out of my mind that you would greet me with the point of a sword in my gut. What did you want me to think? You brought 400 men with you for crying out loud!
The night before we met I was alone. I just needed some time to be by myself to prepare for what was looking to be my death. I don’t have time to go into the details but that God that father and grandfather followed? I literally fought with him. I know, it sounds weird but I have the limp to prove it. I thought he was trying to kill me
But he BLESSED me.
Then I met you.
You ran to me. You embraced me. You kissed me. I’m pretty sure there were tears.
There wasn’t a trace of anger or bitterness or resentment in your voice. You were excited to meet my family. You didn’t want my gifts but then you took them when I insisted. You wanted to travel with me. And when I wanted to stay back you offered your own people to help out.
And I can’t for the life of me figure out why.
All I know is that it reminds me of God. He was merciful to me. You were merciful to me. Truly, seeing you is like seeing the face of God.
So I built an altar. I want to remember this. I want my family to remember it. I want everyone who sees this thing to know that God is mighty.
Just not in the way they might think.
Our God is mighty in mercy and favor. I didn’t deserve it from him and I didn’t deserve it from you. Yet here I am: alive and well with you welcoming me back in a way I could never have hoped.
Thank you my brother. It is good to see you.