Reading in Exodus 33:11-23 one morning, I was startled by an exchange between Moses and God. Verse 11 says that Moses and the Lord spoke face to face as friends. Although Moses wasn’t physically seeing God’s face, he knew the Lord was his friend. But that wasn’t enough for Moses. He wanted to know more of the ways of God, more of God Himself, to be assured that God loved and accepted him. He wanted a physical sight of God. So, in verse 18, he says to God, “Show me Your glory!” In other words, “Let me see the dazzling brightness of Your presence, God…let me see the real You. Don’t hold anything back. I want it all.” I wrote in my journal:

What? Does Moses want to die? Doesn’t he realize his eyeballs will be burned blind and he will be shot through with white hot laser beams? God’s bright glory outshines all the suns in the universe. Moses would disintegrate in the presence of such hot light. God warns him: “No one shall see My face and live.” (verse 20) But then God says, in effect, “Alright, friend. You may see Me, but only my back will you see. Stand on the rock and I’ll put you in a break, a cleft of the rock, and I’ll put My hand over you and cover you to protect you from Me as I pass by.”

In the Hebrew, “face” can also mean “presence.” Psalm 27:8 instructs me to seek the Lord’s face. And so, like Moses, and David after him, I dare to respond, “Yes, Lord, your face I will seek”. Jesus is the “face” of God, the presence of God on this earth in a human body. He lets me see God’s glory up close and personal, with no danger of being annihilated. The love of God in Christ Jesus is the protective rock that surrounds me as I seek Him. I tell myself, “Don’t be afraid. Get ready for an adventure.” And I say to God, “Thank You, Father, for this personal invitation into Your Presence. I will seek Your face today.”