The Shining Face of God

August 7, 2023

God has given us insight into what He is like as He has revealed Himself in His word. The various phrases that deal with God’s shining face are great examples that depict the benefits that we find in God’s shining face. Let’s begin with the “Aaronic benediction” found in the book of Numbers where Moses was to instruct Aaron to place God’s name upon His people in blessing all who had participated in the corporate worship service by saying:

Numbers 6:24–27 (ESV) — 24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

Notice the list of blessings that belong to God’s people: The Lord bless you, The Lord keep you, The Lord make His face to shine upon you, The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, The Lord give you peace. There are great blessings that flow from these statements but consider just one, “The Lord make His face to shine upon you.”

1 John 1:5 (ESV) — 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Just as the plants cannot live without nourishment from the sun, so God’s people cannot live, let alone thrive, without the nourishment from the Son, as in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the brightness of the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4:3–6 (ESV) — 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Desiring God’s face to shine upon us is a worthy desire as we see five worthy prayers in the Bible expressing God’s shining face:

Psalm 31:16 (ESV) — 16 Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!

Psalm 67:1–2 (ESV) — 1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.

Psalm 80:19 (ESV) — 19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 119:135 (ESV) — 135 Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.

Daniel 9:17–18 (ESV) — 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.

God’s shining face is made evident in the Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Timothy 6:15–16 (ESV) — 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

John 1:4 (ESV) — 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV) — 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

So just as the “Aaronic benediction” states, so grace flows from God’s shining face through Jesus Christ.

John 1:16 (ESV) — 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) — 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

The next time you hear those words, “The Lord make His face to shine upon you,” just remember as God instructed His name be placed upon His people that He might bless them, so the blessings of grace flow from God’s shining face as seen in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who is like the oil of gladness to cause our faces to shine.

Isaiah 61:3 (ESV) — 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

Psalm 104:15 (ESV) — 15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.


Bob Brubaker, Pastor