04 April, 2014
FACE TO FACE WITH GOD
Excerpt from the devotion book: How Great Is Our God
Sinclair Ferguson, in A Heart for God
Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God (Exodus 3:6)
We cannot know ourselves unless we see ourselves as we are in the presence of God. Nor can we come to know God without viewing ourselves in a new light. The presence of God, therefore, does two things: it makes us conscious of who He is, and it makes us aware of who we are in His glorious presence.
As Moses stood in the presence of God who is a consuming fire, but found that he was not consumed, he must have felt as though every last element of superficiality was being stripped from his being. In that context, there could be no pretense, nor in the desert was there anywhere to hide. He was alone, with God, awed by his presence as the One who called Himself “I Am” Exodus 3:14)
What does it really mean to stand in the presence of God? In the Old Testament, to be “in the presence of God” often translates a Hebrew expression meaning “before the face of God” It conveys the idea of coming face to face with Him. More than that, because no man can see God’s face and live (as Moses learned in Exodus 33:20) being in the presence of God may carry the sense of standing before One who is able to scrutinize us, who can see all our actions and reactions, even though we can never know or understand Him. For God dwells in unapproachable light. What could be more awesome than to stand in the presence of God – and live? There was nothing in the world more awesome that Moses could have done than to stand before the mystery of God’s being and the majesty of His glory, yet not die.
One of our greatest needs in coming to know God in our day is to recover a sense of what it really means to stand in the presence of God.