We learn and communicate so much more when we meet face to face. Words are a big part of communication, but the face expresses so much of what is in the heart. David, the Psalmist, spoke of seeking God’s face. How can we seek God’s face if we can’t see Him?
A study of babies is very instructive regarding the importance of the face in communicating. The study reveals that “babies are ‘wired’ to selectively attend and respond to the human face.” Babies focus on the eyes first, and later on the mouth as they begin to learn language, and then back to the eyes for the emotional connection. This face-to-face interaction is extremely important to the baby’s emotional and cognitive growth.
A child will seek your face, your personal and undivided attention, perhaps to answer their question, grant their request, or simply focus your attention to spend time with them. Being face-to-face is close, personal, and intimate. As parents and grandparents, we cherish these moments of engaging and interacting with our children as we observe their personality and development in thinking and verbal skills. We delight in spending time with them, answering their questions, especially when they seek our guidance. But, even when something negative has occurred, as they cry and seek our face in tears, we gladly love and comfort them.
We are all children of God. The Almighty wants us to seek His face. King David wrote a psalm when he brought the ark of the covenant (described in the book of Exodus) to Jerusalem with great celebration. The ark was where Israel could seek God’s face—His guidance and answers to their inquiries. David’s psalm includes the phrase, “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!” (1 Chronicles 16:11).
What does it mean to seek God’s face? The word “seek” means to inquire, to consult, to request something of someone. A face is the very presence of the person. To be before a person’s face is to be in their presence.
Another psalm of David beautifully describes his desire to be in the presence of the Lord. “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4) And in verses 8-9, “When You said, ‘Seek my face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’ Do not hide Your face from me….”
A baby is troubled when he or she cannot see a parent’s face. Have you ever had someone angry at you, and they wouldn’t look at you? It is troubling because the relationship with that person is broken. We also use the expression of “turning the back” on someone. It’s the same as hiding the face. In the Psalms, David pleaded with God to not hide His face from him (e.g., Psalm 13:1, 27:9, 88:14, 102:2). David sought God’s face, His presence.
A serious student of the Bible knows that sin separates a person from God, and that God punishes those who turn their back on Him (e.g., Jeremiah 32:29–35), though He is very merciful (vv. 36–44). As stated in Lamentations 3, both woe and well-being proceed from the mouth of God, so we should not complain when punished for our sins (vv. 37–39). So, we should examine our ways and turn back to the Lord (v. 40). We will find Him if we seek Him with all of our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 4:29).
We can seek God’s face, His presence, through prayer and the study of His word, the Holy Bible. Be sure to order your free copy of Twelve Keys to Answered Prayer if you would like to know more. Also, why not check out the Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course, and start learning today?