But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” – Exodus 33:20
Moses had spoken with God after the Israelites created the golden calf and bowed and sacrificed to it. God became furious and wanted to wipe them out, but Moses interceded and got God to relent from His anger. Shortly thereafter, Moses had another conversation with God and got God to relent from abandoning the people and stay with them and continue leading them. Sometime during the conversation, Moses got God to agree to let him see God’s glory, but God offered to allow Moses to see His back and not His face. Anyone who sees the face of God would die from the sin in one’s life.
God’s word about anyone seeing His face would die is true. The NT tells us that no one has seen the face of God, except Jesus, who is God the Son. The sin that exists in every person would cause their immediate demise IF they were to look upon the face of God, who has to immediately judge sin and recompense it. HOWEVER, Jesus said that whoever has seen the Son has seen the Father (John 14:9). We may not be able, yet, to look upon the face of God the Father, but we can look upon the face of God the Son, who paid for our sins and redeemed us from sin and death. In and through the Son of God we have complete access to God the Father.
Because of God the Son, we will one day be able to stand before God the Father in incomplete innocence and be able to see His glorious countenance and the heavenly radiance (Light) that shines from Him (See story of Saul encountering Jesus on way to Damascus in Acts). Moses may have been able to see the back of God and experience the glory of God temporarily, but one day we will stand before our LORD and see Him face-to-face! LORD, let Your shekinah glory fall on us today.
Father, what can I say but that I long to see Your face one day! May I know You more and more each day. Thank You, Jesus, for allowing us to see the Father through You, the Son. You made it possible for us to have access to and relationship with Your Father and ours. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I long to be with You. Until then, I will walk with You and talk with You in this life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.