Have you ever wondered what God looks like or how God sees you? A popular belief is that God is a very old, aloof, disapproving man. When we look at Scripture though, we see a much different picture. Throughout the Bible, we see God very much engaged and interested in people -both collectively and individually.
In Genesis, we learn about a lowly woman named Hagar. Dismissed by Sarah, she, gave birth to Abraham’s son Ishmael. In the wilderness, at her lowest point, she heard God’s voice and was so encouraged. Responding to God’s encouragement, she proclaims: “Jehovah Roi” – “You are the God who sees me! ” What a wonderful picture!
Hagar’s proclamation rings true all through the Bible. God saw the plight of His people and brought them out of Egypt. God listened to the lament of His people and sends provisions. God met with Moses and allowed Moses to see Him.
In the New Testament, there is further evidence of Hagar’s proclamation. Jesus sees a struggling woman at a well, and she is changed by Him. Jesus, in the middle of huge crowd, notices a small woman who had been “subject to bleeding for 12 years.”(Luke 8:43) Jesus sees her as she manages to touch the edge of His garment. Even though, she tries to shrink away, He turns and engages her. Immediately, she is healed. In another story, a little man named Zacchaeus, hearing that Jesus is going to pass through his neighbourhood, climbs a tree so that he can see or perhaps be seen. Sure enough, in the midst of a horrendous crowd, Jesus not only notices Zacchaeus and invited himself for a meal at Zach’s home! Then, there is Peter. Jesus saw Peter -Peter, the man who is representative of many. He was capable of, and accomplished great things and yet still fell hard -denying Jesus three times. Peter turned back to Jesus and Jesus forgave and reinstated him and gave him a significant leadership role in the future of Christian church.
God sees us by choice. He wants to see you and me! He also wants to be seen by us. Psalm 139:23 reads: “search me O God and know my heart.” The Psalmist is inviting God to see him and be near him.
Earlier on, I spoke about the widely-held belief about God’s “look. ” In the Scriptures, we are reminded time and time again about God’s Face. When God’s face is turned toward His people, it is a countenance of light, Glory and favour. When God turns His face toward you, it is the beginning of or the re-start of a relationship. Do you need to turn back to God? Do you need to ask God to look at you again?
As an Anglican Priest, I take great delight in conferring the blessing on the people at end of a service. I am proclaiming the promising words from God, which Moses conferred upon the people in the Presence of God…
“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26.