1. In Justice I will behold Your Face
The Psalmist understood life and death. He wrote, “Hide me in the shadow of your wings. I in justice shall behold your face; on waking, I shall be content in your presence.” God gives us a dress rehearsal of our death every night. We pray, “In life or death, may I know your presence.”
2. God has a face — meaning He is a “you.”
When Jacob wrestled with “some man” hour after hour, he wasn’t wrestling an impersonal force or idol but a real person (cf. Genesis 32:23-33). Jacob named the place Peniel, “Because I have seen God face to face,” he said, “yet my life has been spared.”
3. God’s face can be seen by following His back.
Exodus 33 reveals Moses and God used to speak face to face like friends. Even in this intimacy, Moses was not allowed to see God’s face and live –only God’s back. To paraphrase Pope Benedict, “It’s impossible to see God’s face in this life but in following him you see the mystery of God from behind; God can be followed by seeing his back.”
4. Everyone seeks God’s face.
When God made man in His image, it was a foretaste of seeing the true image of God. Even the most damaged of souls seek God’s image (cf. Matthew 9:23 records a demoniac seeking God’s face). The crowds who followed Jesus are testimony to the universal call to find God’s face. It’s a difficult path. Even the Apostles who followed Jesus for three years asked Jesus, “Show us the Father.”
5. The Face of God is Found in the Name of Christ.
No one had to convince Jacob of God’s presence at Penuel. The name of God invites God’s presence. That’s why Jacob’s asked for the angel’s name. That’s why Paul could say, “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow.” Say the name of Jesus in your home or when you are out and about and see if it “changes the spiritual atmosphere”.
6. The Face of God is Found in the Breaking of the Bread.
Adam and Eve were offered food by the serpent. They said yes and “their eyes were opened. ” The disciples were on the way to Emmaus and were offered food by a stranger. They said yes and “their eyes were opened.” All of us have eaten the forbidden food. However, have you ever seen the face of God when you ate His body and drank His blood?