“The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:25-26).
Lovely, poetic words. But what do those phrases about God’s face mean? Even if God’s face did shine upon me, or turn toward me, how would I know? I’ve never seen God. No one has (1 John 4:12).
A little research turned up this explanation: God’s face represents his character.
Read those verses from Numbers again. But this time replace the word face with the word character. The meaning becomes clearer.
The Lord make his character shine upon you
And be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his character toward you
And give you peace.
How many of God’s character traits can you name? David named seven in a psalm of thanksgiving found in 1 Chronicles 16:8-34. God is:
- Powerful (v. 9)
- Strong (v. 11)
- Trustworthy (v. 15)
- Majestic (v. 27)
- Holy (v. 29)
- Good (v. 34)
- Loving (v. 34)
This brief list is just the beginning of descriptors we could name about God. He is infinite; His attributes are infinite!
All of those character traits and more are shining upon our lives, as he cares for us, lives in us,and participates with us every moment of our lives.
- His power works miracles.
- His strength carries us through difficult times.
- He can be trusted to always do what is best.
- His supreme majesty speaks of his authority over the universe.
- He is righteous and holy in all he does.
- Out of his goodness he provides countless blessings.
- And all of this is graciously given, not out of a sense of duty because he made us, but because he loves us.
God’s face shining upon us represents God’s radiance.
If we insist on following our own way, as Israel did, He may choose to hide his face from us (Isaiah 1:15).
“When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring” (Proverbs 16:15).
When the King of the universe shines his approval upon us, what more could we want? Life for us is not mere existence. It is a rich, full life. Rich with blessings, and full of satisfaction, peace, and joy!
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Thank you, Almighty God, for manifesting your character in my life. I have seen you work miracles and give strength to the weak. I have watched as you engineered circumstances to accomplish your plan. (And it always turns out to be a hundred times better than anything I could dream up!)
I marvel at your power and majesty on display in creation. I have recorded hundreds of blessings you’ve provided for our family. Your radiance shines brilliantly all around me!
And now, as a thank you gift back to you, dear Father, may my life reflect your radiance to others—with ever-increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)! Amen!
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How has God shone his face upon you? Share in the Comments below!
(art credit: www.christianwordart.com)