Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
July 7, 1998
Last Updated :
October 8, 2013
God Is Grieved By The Wickedness Of The World And Decides To Destroy It, God Causes Philistine Idol Dagon To Fall On His Face, Wicked Men Try To Hide From God's Face In Revelation, I Will Set My Face Against, Blessing Of Seeing God's Face, Moses Communes With The Lord Face To Face, His Face Shines, The Special Blessing Pronounced By The Levitical Priesthood, King David Prophesies Regarding His Resurrection And Seeing The Lord's Face, Our Guardian Angels Behold Our Heavenly Father's Face, Which Way Is God's Face Turned In Your Life?, Fruit Of Willful Disobedience, Blasphemy Against The Holy Ghost, Personal Choice, God's Everlasting Love And Mercy
Continuing our discussion from part four, following the Fall of Adam and Eve, a few short chapters later, when God turned His face to look down upon the world, we are told that His heart was so grieved by the profound wickedness of man, that He decided that it was time to take stern measures in order to correct the situation. As you may know, that measure was of course the global Flood, which arrived about one hundred and twenty years later during the days of the Patriarch Noah. Consider the following verses:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
Genesis 6:5-7, KJV
In the first Book of the Prophet Samuel, we discover that after the Philistines had stolen the Ark of the Covenant from the children of Israel and taken it to Ashdod, the Lord caused the statue of their idol Dagon to fall to the ground a number of times. What is significant about this event is that we are told that Dagon fell upon his face. Perhaps the Lord was trying to show the Philistines that they had their faces turned towards a false god. Consider these verses:
"When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day."
1 Samuel 5:2-5, KJV
In the Book of Revelation, when the Lord finally looks down upon the Earth -- or turns His face towards it -- and decides that it is time to put a stop to the wickedness of man, the reaction of the evildoers is to try to hide themselves from the face of the Lord, as we see by these verses:
"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:"
Revelation 6:15-16, KJV
Upon further examining the Scriptures, we discover that when the Bible tells us that God has set His face against someone or something, more often than not, it is usually to pronounce some judgement against them. This also holds true when the Lord instructs His Prophets to do same thing. This is rather evident in verses such as the following:
"And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people."
Leviticus 17:10, KJV
"And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name . . . Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people."
Leviticus 20:3, 5-6, KJV
"And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you."
Leviticus 26:17, KJV
"For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire."
Jeremiah 21:10, KJV
"Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah."
Jeremiah 44:11, KJV
"Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel."
Ezekiel 4:3, KJV
"Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them,"
Ezekiel 13:17, KJV
"And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
Ezekiel 14:8, KJV
"And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them."
Ezekiel 15:7, KJV
"Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them;"
Ezekiel 25:2, KJV
"Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it,"
Ezekiel 28:21, KJV
"Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt:"
Ezekiel 29:2, KJV
"Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it,"
Ezekiel 35:2, KJV
"Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,"
Ezekiel 38:2, KJV
Clearly then, it is not a good idea to have God turn His Face against us; because if He does, it usually means that we are in very serious trouble with Him. Of course, there is also a positive side to seeing God's face as well. As I explain in the article "The Seeing God Face to Face Dilemma", sometimes God's face can be turned towards us in a demonstration of His love, support and fellowship. Such was clearly the case with Moses who saw the Lord face to face on quite a few occasions. As many of you will know, this positive experience resulted in the Commandments, which to this very day have formed the basis for many of the laws which govern human behavior. This was such a wonderful experience for Moses, that we are told that his face actually shone for some time after each of his encounters with the Lord; so much so that he was even forced to wear a veil, as we see by the following verses:
"And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him."
Exodus 34:29-35, KJV
Sometime later, Moses taught Aaron and his sons -- who were Israel's Levitical priesthood -- a special blessing, as he had been commanded to do by the Lord. This special blessing has been pronounced by many Christians and Jews ever since the time that it was first spoken. It is significant how the Lord chooses to symbolize His blessings upon His children by turning His face towards us, as we see by these verses:
"Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
Numbers 6:23-26, KJV
In one of his Psalms, King David -- who was a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ -- also prophesied concerning how it would be such a great blessing to be able to behold the Lord's face at the time of his glorious resurrection from the dead, when he would be transformed, and possess a body just like the Lord. Consider this verse:
"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."
Psalms 17:15, KJV
A few verses earlier in the very same Psalm, King David also besought the Lord that He would keep him as the apple -- that is, as the pupil -- of His eye. In other words, the king was asking the Lord for His blessing and protection, as we see by this verse:
"Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,"
Psalms 17:8, KJV
You may also recall that in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus made mention of the fact that the Guardian Angels of our children always behold the face of our Heavenly Father, as we see by the following verse:
"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 18:10, KJV
Having now studied such a wide selection of Scriptures, we can see that the direction in which God's face is turned is very important. We have also seen that the reasons why God may choose to look upon us, or else to turn away from us, are varied. It all depends upon our personal life and walk with Him. If we please Him, just as a child tries to please his parents through obedience, then the Lord will likewise look upon us with favor and smiling approval. However, if we are disobedient, then as occurs with our natural parents, we can expect to see the Lord's stern look of disapproval, and should be in fear of judgment. In his discussion concerning people who know God's Word, yet who continue to sin in spite of it, the Apostle Paul offers us a very fitting example when he writes the following:
"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries."
Hebrews 10:26-27, KJV
Paul then explains that those people who initially accept Christ's Atonement, and then later reject it -- or call it "an unholy thing" -- through unbelief, should look forward to the most severe chastisement of all, as we see by this verse:
"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
Hebrews 10:29, KJV
This is indeed a very serious sin. As I have explained on a number of other occasions, I believe that this is what Jesus was referring to in the Gospel of Matthew when He warned us about blasphemy against the Holy Ghost being the only sin which shall not be forgiven, as we see by these verses:
"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."
Matthew 12:31-32, KJV
My understanding is that to blaspheme the Holy Ghost is to reject the Salvation that God offers through the witness of the Spirit of Truth. What is the witness of the Spirit of Truth? It is that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God who died for the sins of the world. It is through this act of Divine Love that God the Father has manifested His Grace -- which Paul refers to as "the Spirit of grace" -- as well as His Love, to the world. When Paul talks about doing "despite" to the Spirit of Grace, he is referring to insulting God Himself, and calling Him a liar, by rejecting the Salvation that He offers us through Jesus Christ.
The word "despite" is derived from the Greek word "enubrizo". Pronounced en-oo-brid'-zo, this word means to insult. Stated another way, I believe that the Holy Ghost -- or the Spirit of Truth -- is an extension of God the Father. Therefore, to blaspheme the Holy Ghost and the things that it is revealing to us concerning Christ, is actually to blaspheme or insult God the Father Himself. It is a very foolish thing to do.
As I point out in articles such as "Free Will and Personal Choice" and "Do You Want Love and Light, or Rod and Wrath?", in the final analysis, what it really comes down to is our personal choice. Since the Garden of Eden, this is what the Lord has been trying to teach all of us. In other words, we can either be wise and choose God's way, or else we can be stubborn and rebellious and choose Satan's way. If we make the right choices, then we will continually behold the good side of the Lord's face. On the other hand, if we foolishly make the wrong choices, then the Lord will have to show us His stern countenance. If we continue to ignore the Lord's pleas, He may even be forced to turn away from us for a while in His anger, until we have learned the lessons that He is trying to teach us.
Whatever the case may be, let us never forget that we have the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us, once we have been called by His name, for His Love and Mercy are truly everlasting, as we see by the following verses:
"For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Psalms 100:5, KJV
"But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; "
Psalms 103:17, KJV
"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
Jeremiah 31:3, KJV
"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."
Psalms 139:7-16, KJV
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
John 6:37, KJV
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
John 10:28, KJV
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39, KJV
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
2 Timothy 2:19, KJV
". . . for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5b, KJV
With these inspiring verses, I will bring this series to a close. It is my hope that you have found it informative and enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would really appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which are related to this series, and which are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website.
Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord?
Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution
Do You Want Love and Light, or Rod and Wrath?
Dracula, Nosferatu, Twilight: The Vampire Fad
Christian Witnessing: Winning the Sheep and Waging the Warfare
Free Will and Personal Choice
Is God a Racist?
Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and Chastisement
Satan: His Origin, Purpose and Future
Selfishness: A Prophesied Sign of the Endtime
Sluggards and Sloths
The Children of God and Politics
The Children of Light: Are You One of Us?
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Plight of the Children: School Gun Violence!
The Salvation of Animals: Fact or Fiction?
The Seeing God Face to Face Dilemma
This Little Light, Glory of the Lord and Our Bright Future
What is Wrong With Modern America?