“Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—so shall he sprinkle many nations.Kings shall shut their mouths because of him for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.” (Isaiah 52:13-15)
This past week I’ve been thinking a lot about the Face of Adonai. I’ve heard people pray many times to see the Face of God. I always wondered if they were aware of what they were asking. I think they imagine some apparition or manifestation and blinding lights. Maybe they imagine an experience like Moshe (Moses) had when he asked to see HaShem’s glory. And it seems to make some think that wishing for that is a sign of the freedom we have now in HaMashiach (The Christ).
When Moshe asked to see HaShem’s glory, he didn’t ask to see His face. HaShem just told Him “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live” and “you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” (Shemot/ Exodus 33:20;23)
It seems to be implying that His back is more glorious, appealing to our senses that crave to be astonished. Seeing His face on the other hand, would kill us. And I don’t think that is because of overexposure to awesomeness. I think it has a deeper meaning than that.
When Yeshayahu (Isaiah) prophecies about Yeshua, the embodied manifestation of HaShem (Col.1:15), he says in chapter 53:2-3:
“He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
One might think “oh, those Jews! They saw Yeshua and despised Him! If I would have been there I would have died with Him! Awful Jews despised what they saw and rejected Him!” You’d like to think so, huh? Well I’ve got news for you: if you or I would have seen Him hanging on a cross giving His last breath, it would have ruined our faith. Before blaming the Jews, one needs to remember that Yeshua’s closest followers lost hope when they saw Him on that cross. Why? Because the human heart doesn’t need a God that appears weak and powerless. As a matter of fact most people that lose faith in HaShem, they do so because HaShem wasn’t what they thought He was, or He didn’t answer some prayer, or didn’t intervene in some situation or didn’t perform some miracle, you know, like He’s supposed to! A God that seems weak is useless to the human understanding. We need a God that is strong, in our way of understanding strength and all-powerful as in He’ll give me anything I ask for because He loves me.
I have seen people that seem to have every prayer answered and every desired fulfilled and it inspires others to do everything that person is doing hoping for the same results. And it’s not necessarily wrong, but I think that HaShem’s face is revealed in situations where people think He’s hiding His face for sure, because this can’t be it!
It reminds me of the thief on the cross. I think He was the first one that looked, and I mean truly looked Adonai in the face, amidst all those wrong circumstances that pointed out “THIS CAN’T BE GOD!” and saw Him for who He was. The thief wasn’t seeing someone dressed in splendor and light, wasn’t seeing some miracle performed, wasn’t seeing a King… He was seeing someone that made all those that looked upon Him turned their face away. But the thief did something so God-like that is astonishing in its simplicity. He doesn’t look at the outward appearance, but looks at the heart. Adonai does that. When He chose David HaMelech (King David) HaShem told Shamuel “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7) The thief looks at Yeshua and sees everything that disqualifies Him to be HaMashiach (The Anointed) but he sees His heart and asks “Yeshua, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:43)
I know some like to use the story of the thief as an example that it’s never too late to believe in Yeshua, and that might be one way to look at it, but I think that the main lesson to learn from this is, to not let your eyes be fooled by what you see and how Adonai might appear in your current circumstances. It might seem like He’s not able to help you in any way, shape or form, because if He could He would have done it by now, but maybe, just maybe, if you choose to look at His heart for you, instead of whatever it is that makes Him appear weak in your eyes, you might just see the Face of God.
Bat Melech בת מלך