The Face of God – Week of October 19, 2020

Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.

Psalm 27:7-11

The face of God can be a terrifying thing. Moses was forced into a cleft of a rock and only the backside of God passed by him. He could not see the face of God and live. It would have been too much for a mere mortal.

In the same way we can only see glimpses of a hidden God. God hides. That sounds awful but it is true. God hides. But he paradoxically hides in order to be revealed. He does not show his glorious face to us because it would be too much. His glory would blow away sinners like us. So he hides. And when he hides, he becomes intimate. We do not stand in the glory of God wondering if we will be blown away. We go about our business every single day with God right next to us. It might sound like a consolation prize to have a hidden God instead of experiencing the full glory of the Almighty, but this is not true. He is close to us and that is a gift of God’s grace.

God hides so that he might be found on his own terms. He wants to be found in the most hidden of all places, the cross. Who would look for a glorious God in that godless scene? David sought after the face of God. He wanted God to look on him with favor, that is, to look at him and not turn away. We want the same. But the face of God does not look glorious—it looks like a man dying on the cross. Here is where we see the Father turn his face away from his Son so that he can turn his face towards us in mercy. Christ gets the justice we deserve and we get the kindness Christ earned for us.

But where do we look for the face of God today? Still at the cross of course but also in the people we serve. Having been spared wrath and given love, we now go into the world to love. When we love others, we love God. So where is the face of God in your life right now? The students looking to you every day. God saved you and now uses you to love his children. You are the face of God to them and they are the face of God to you.

Prayer: Jesus Christ, you are true God and fullness of the deity in bodily form. Help us to be your ambassadors in the world. Move us to see your face in all we serve so that in turn, they may see your loving face in our actions. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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