28th May 2012

We Shall See Him Face To Face

“So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend…But He said, ‘You cannot see my face; for no man shall see me, and live.’”
Exodus 33:11 and 20 (NKJV)

The two verses quoted above seem to be a contradiction. There are many difficult passages of scripture in God’s Word, but if we study carefully, the Holy Spirit can lead us to better understanding.

This passage says that the Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to a friend. In Genesis 18 we read of the Lord speaking to Abraham as a friend who appeared as a man. We also read of Jacob wrestling with a man (Genesis 32:24) and he said it was God, in Genesis 32:30, “For I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved.”

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, walked and talked with His disciples and called them His friends (John 15:14-15). His glory was veiled and not revealed except in a vision on the Mount of Transfiguration to the apostles Peter, James and John (Matthew 17:1-3).

Now let us look at Exodus 33:20 in the light of the passages that we read above. The Lord said to Moses, “You cannot see my face: for no man shall see me and live.” Moses had asked the Lord, “Please show me your glory” in verse 18. To understand the glory of God we have to go to the book of Revelation, chapter 1:12-16. It describes the Lord’s countenance shining as the sun in its full strength. How far is the sun from the earth? Yet we cannot look at the glory of the sun without sunglasses or we are blinded. That is why the Lord hid Moses in the cleft when His glory passed by. The good news is that we will see Him as He is in His glory, for we shall all be changed and be with the Lord when He comes, as we read in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 John 3:1-4.

Our Father, giver of life and sustainer of all things, I thank you for your Word, the Bible. Some passages are difficult—please open our eyes and inspire our minds through your Holy Spirit to understand the deep things of God. I ask this in the name of our Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest.

Study by Natu Moti

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print This Article


Got something to say?