The Face of Love
(Approximate reading time – 3 minutes 7 seconds)
I suppose I ought to offer some sort of an apology for posting this picture with my latest article. I realize that it is a bit shocking to have this sort of graphic in your face without warning. I assure you though; my intent is not to be provocative but to share something about this image that touched my heart deeply and is changing me in a profound way. Let me explain…
I’ve been pondering Moses lately. I have wondered why out of the millions of Israelites and Egyptians that witnessed the Lord’s amazing power, Moses seemed to be the only one who truly understood the heart of God. Strange. All Israel saw the same things…unprecedented and inexplicable plagues breaking the will of the most powerful nation on earth, a massive column of fire extending up into the clouds standing as an imposing barricade between the vulnerable Israelites and the blood thirsty Egyptian warriors, the sea splitting in two with walls of water restrained by God’s invisible hand, a tunnel of water providing escape from certain slaughter, a fountain from a rock, bread miraculously appearing on the ground, meat from heaven, etc.,etc., etc. But when the dust had settled and all God required of the Israelites was trust, what did they do? They complained and they turned on God and His servant………epic fail.
This would be the time in my story where I should rant about the foolish Israelites. After all, they had seen apocalyptic type miracles first hand…how could they doubt God? How could they question His goodness? But if I am really honest with myself, I’ve done the same thing in my life over and over again. I may not have seen the sea part or drank water from a rock, but I have witnessed the power of God’s intervention firsthand, more times than I can count…and often, sad to say, it’s still not enough to keep me from doubting….until a few weeks ago.
“He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel” Psalm 103:7 NIV
I believe the difference between the Israelite’s perspective and Moses’…between myself and Moses’, is found in Psalm 103:7. In addition to witnessing the awesome ability of God, Moses also saw the glory of God’s character…His infinite, perfect goodness and love, on full display before his eyes…but the Israelites only witnessed the power of His hand. Mighty as that power was, it didn’t change their hearts. The difference in revelation between the two cost a generation their destiny. Somewhere on Mt. Sinai, Moses saw the revelation of the heart of God and it changed him forever. Somewhere at the base of Mt. Sinai the Israelites sought the power of His hand, and it skewed their perception of His heart.
“Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.” Exodus 33:18 NIV
I told you that a few weeks ago I witnessed something that is changing me in a profound way. It began as a simple prayer where I stopped asking God to see His hand at work. I have often spent far too much time seeking His power, and not asking the greater thing, to know Him. So I asked to know the heart of my Creator friend.
I cannot possibly explain what I saw in my spirit, but the closest I can come to describing what I witnessed is seen in the picture at the front of this blog. I saw Jesus Christ, in the fullness of physical brutality meted out upon Him, hanging on the cross, blood running from His mouth and looking directly at me, as if I were the only one in the world, and saying, “This is who I am…your friend who suffered for you because I love you and this was the only way I could have you.”
Even as I write these words, tears well up in my eyes as I consider the revelation of that moment. For God so loves me, that He gave…Himself…for me…who considers me worth that kind of sacrifice…because He loves me…because that is just who He is…who God is.
If you are not satisfied with a theological definition of God’s love…if you have been asking God to change your circumstances, to display His power again, but not seeking to know Him, ask your Creator friend to show you His heart. I don’t know exactly what He will show you, but I do know He wants you to know His love.