One of the first things we notice about any human being we encounter is his or her face. Though Scripture teaches that God is a spirit and cannot be seen by human eyes, still the face of God is mentioned in many passages. Just as we can discern quite a bit about someone by looking at their countenance, we can also learn much about God Himself as we look at His face as described in the Bible.
The first mention of God’s face in Scripture is when Lot was warned of the imminent destruction of Sodom by an angel who said, “For we will destroy this place because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” (Gen. 19:13). God’s face is also mentioned in Gen. 32:30, Jud. 6:22, Ps. 80:7, Is. 65:3, Jer. 49:11, Dan. 9:17, Lk. 1:76, 1 Cor. 13:12, 1 Pet. 3:12, and Rev 20:11, to name a few. As we behold the face of God, please note four things we can learn about our our awesome God.
God’s Face Reveals His WATCHFULNESS
Jer. 16:17 says, “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes”. Yes, Scripture clearly teaches that God is omniscient and omnipresent, meaning He knows everything and is everywhere present at all times. He is all-knowing and all-seeing, and it doesn’t matter if it is out in the open, behind closed doors, or in daylight or darkness. King David wrote in Ps. 139:11-12… “Even the night shall be light about me; indeed the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You”.
God’s Face Reveals His WARMTH
Exodus 33:11 says… “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”. Deut. 34:10 records… “But since there has not risen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face”.
Wow! Moses demonstrated how it is possible for a human being to have an intimate relationship with the all-powerful God of the universe! Even though Scripture teaches that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10), it also tells us it is amazingly possible for us to know God as a personal Friend! Not only is God available to be our friend, He actually longs for us to come to him for fellowship.
Jer. 29:12 says… “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you; and you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Have you ever waited in suspense for a dear friend or loved one to return a phone call? We wait eagerly to hear their voice.
In more recent years, technology has enabled us to “FaceTime” one another. So though we may be miles apart, we can actually see the face of our loved ones as we enjoy sweet fellowship. And so it is, that as children of our Heavenly Father, we have access to the throne of grace where we can boldly come by faith, and through the person and blood of Jesus, speak face to face with the Most High God, who is both our Master and Friend.
God’s Face Reveals His WILLINGNESS
*To Relieve Those who are Suffering.
In Psalm 22:23-24, David wrote, “You who fear the Lord, praise Him…glorify Him…for He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him, but when he cried to Him, He heard.” The Bible clearly teaches that God has a ‘soft spot’ for those who are hurting; the weak, downtrodden, oppressed peoples, the sick and sorrowing, the fatherless and widows, etc. God will not hide His face from those who are hurting and lift their desperate cries unto Him.
Horatio G. Spafford was a successful businessman who lost his earthly goods in the great Chicago fire in 1871. While still trying to reestablish his business, he sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to Europe in 1873’, promising to meet them in France in a few weeks. But on Nov. 22, 1873, the ship was rammed by an English vessel and sank in 2 hours. 226 lives were lost including all four of his daughters. Nine days later, Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband these two words, “Saved Alone”. As soon as he could, he booked passage on another ship to Europe where he could join his grief-stricken wife. While struggling with insomnia and sorrow, Spafford cast himself on the God of all comfort, and by faith penned these immortal words that Christians sing the world over…
“When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
‘It is well, it is well with my soul’”.
Yes, God has not hidden His face from those who are suffering from affliction or grief.
*To Restore those who are Straying.
Second Chr.7:14 says… “If My people who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
While facing defeat in the daily struggle with the world, flesh, and devil, one may be tempted to throw in the towel and say, ‘What’s the use? I can’t beat this; perhaps I’ll just as well live in sin and maybe even enjoy it for a while. But the true believer can’t truly enjoy sin, and the indwelling Holy Spirit will not leave him alone. And the Father awaits, calling us back to repentance and restoration.
Remember the Prodigal Son? After wasting his inheritance in riotous living, he came to his senses and returned to his father, humbly seeking permission to come home and declaring he was no longer worthy to be considered a son. What happened? The father’s face, turned to scan the horizon, saw his wayward son while he was still afar off, and he ran toward his inbound boy. As his son repented, demonstrating a broken spirit and contrite heart, the father joyfully received him, restored him, and celebrated his return. Perhaps you have been straying from your Heavenly Father, wasting your God-given time, talents and treasure in selfish, carnal living. Come home! Your Father’s face is turned toward you in love, and He calls you back to humbly return, repent, be reconciled and rededicate yourself to doing His good, acceptable and perfect will for your life.
*To Rescue those who Need Saving.
Ps. 34:16,18 says… “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil…The Lord is near those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”
To be candid, every one of us has done evil. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and mark of perfection. And the consequences of our sin is death, physical and eternal, separated from God forever in Hell. But I’m so thankful that the Lord loves to rescue those who need saving, and that is me and you.
Yes, God’s face is against those who do evil and will not repent, but He is ready and willing to rescue the perishing souls who will humbly turn from their sin and commit themselves to trust and follow the Lord Jesus.
God’s Face Will Reveal His WRATH
Listen to these sobering words found in Rev. 6:15-17…
“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, and every slave and every freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand’?”
Near the end of the Bible, the Great White Throne Judgment is described…
”Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” (Rev 20:11)
There are no words to describe how horrible it will be to stand among the vast multitudes of unbelievers who will be exposed for their sinful acts and attitudes in explicit detail, be indicted for their rejection of Christ as Lord and Savior, receive dreaded confirmation that their name is absent from the Book of Life, then to be cast helplessly and hopelessly into the Lake of Fire where there is no escape and unending torment in fire and outer darkness. But it need not be that way. “The Lord…is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9 ). We are told in 1 Tim. 2:4 that God… “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” So God, in His mercy and grace sent Jesus.
What will you do with Jesus?
Many years ago, hymn writer A.B. Simpson penned these words…
“What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking, ‘What will He do with me’?”
Yes, we can learn quite a lot from looking at the face of God. We have seen that his face reveals His…Watchfulness…Warmth…Willingness…and Wrath. We would all do well to comply with the Scripture that enjoins us to humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways; then He will hear our prayers, forgive our sins, and heal our land.
The Anthropomorphic Expressions of God
How Should We Understand…
The Mind of God?
The Face of God?
The Eyes of God?
The Ears of God?
The Nose of God?
The Voice of God?
The Shoulder of God?
The Back of God?
The Arms of God?
The Hands of God?
The Fingers of God?
The Feet of God?
The Heart of God?
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