Face of God

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Moses could only see the face of God through a cleft in a rock or he would die. What does this tell us in the scheme of things?

Exodus 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew[1] me thy glory[2].

19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face[3]: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place[4] by me, and thou shalt stand[5] upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift[6] of the rock[7], and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

The word we see as face of the Lord is the same word we see in Genesis 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before (06440 םינפ paniym) the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before (06440 םינפ paniym) the LORD.

Remember in Genesis 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And we did eat and became ashamed because we saw we were naked?[8]

And man was driven[9] from the garden and the tree of life that grew in the midst of the garden and something called a Cherubim guarded the garden with a flaming sword[10] so man could not come near.

The face of God is frightening to us. It is more than we can handle because it shows us the truth. The truth is frightening because it reveals us as we are. We have been hiding from the truth and that has kept us away from the garden and out of the presence of God.

While each of us may see God through a crack in the rock none of us see the whole truth.

== Footnotes ==
  1. האר ra’ah a primitive root; v; AV-see 879, look 104, behold 83, shew 68, appear 66, consider 22, seer 12, spy 6, respect 5, perceive 5, provide 4, regard 4, enjoy 4, lo 3, foreseeth 2, heed 2, misc 74; 1313
  2. 03519 ^דובכ^ kabowd \@kaw-bode’\@ from ^דבכ^ kabod meaning honour, glorify, honourable, heavy, even liver; n m; AV-glory 156, honour 32, glorious 10, gloriously 1, honourable 1; 200 1) glory, honour, glorious, abundance 1a) abundance, riches 1b) honour, splendour, glory 1c) honour, dignity 1d) honour, reputation 1e) honour, reverence, glory 1f) glory
  3. 06440 ^םינפ^ paniym \@paw-neem’\@ pl. from 06437 הנפ panah paw-naw’AV-turn 53, look 42, prepare 6, regard 4, respect 4, look back 4, turn away 2, turn back 2, misc 16; 135; n m; AV-before 1137, face 390, presence 76, because 67, sight 40, countenance 30, from 27, person 21, upon 20, of 20,  … me 18, against 17,  … him 16, open 13, for 13, toward 9, misc 195; 2109
  4. 04725 ^םוקמ^ maqowm \@maw-kome’\@ or ^םקמ^ maqom \@maw-kome’\@ also (fem.) ^המוקמ^ mᵉqowmah \@mek-o-mah’\@ ^המקמ^ mᵉqomah \@mek-o-mah’\@ from 06965; n m; {See TWOT on 1999 @@ "1999h"} AV-place 391, home 3, room 3, whithersoever 2, open 1, space 1, country 1; 402 1) standing place, place 1a) standing place, station, post, office 1b) place, place of human abode 1c) city, land, region 1d) place, locality, spot 1e) space, room, distance 1f) region, quarter, direction 1g) give place to, instead of
  5. 05324 בצנ natsab naw-tsab’ a primitive root; v; AV-stand 34, set 12, officers 6, set up 7, upright 2, appointed 1, deputy 1, erected 1, establish 1, Huzzab 1, misc 9; 75 1) to stand, take one’s stand, stand upright, be set (over), establish 1a) (Niphal) 1a1) to station oneself, take one’s stand 1a2) to stand, be stationed 1a3) to stand, take an upright position 1a4) to be stationed, be appointed 1a5) deputy, prefect, appointed, deputed (subst) 1a6) to stand firm 1b) (Hiphil) 1b1) to station, set 1b2) to set up, erect 1b3) to cause to stand erect 1b4) to fix, establish 1c) (Hophal) to be fixed, be determined, be stationary
  6. 05366 ^הרקנ^ nᵉqarah \@nek-aw-raw’\@ from רקנ naqar naw-kar’ AV-put out 2, thrust out 1, pick it out 1, pierced 1, digged 1; 6 1) to bore, pick, dig, a fissure; n f; AV-cleft 1, clift 1; 2 1) hole, crevice
  7. 06697 ^רוצ^ tsuwr \@tsoor\@ or ^רצ^ tsur \@tsoor\@ from 06696; n m; AV-rock 64, strength 5, sharp 2, God 2, beauty 1, edge 1, stones 1, mighty One 1, strong 1; 78 1) rock, cliff
  8. Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.
  9. Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
  10. 03858 ^טהל^ lahat \@lah’- hat\@ from 03857; n m; AV-flaming 1, enchantment 1; 2 1) flame (of an angelic sword). The only other place this word for flaming sword appears is in Exodus 7:11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.

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