What does Moses, Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, the Pharisee Nicodemus and the apostle Paul have in common? They all talked with God, face to face. Well, sometimes, face to cloud or face to wind or face to thunder, you know what I mean.
I was going through my usual four chapters a day of Bible reading (I’m using the M’Cheyne method, you can find the calendar here, mine is included in the Bible reading software I bought for the iPad) and I noticed something with the verses i was reading. They were all personal encounters with God!
In Exodus 24:1-2 says, “Then the Lord instructed Moses: “Come up here to me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders. All of you must worship from a distance. Only Moses is allowed to come near to the Lord. The others must not come near, and none of the other people are allowed to climb up the mountain with him.” There were 72 other people that God gave the privilege to be with Him during that day and the best part was yet to come.
This is what vv. 10-11 said, “There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence!” These people even ate a meal in the presence of God. How cool is that? But then, I call also imagine the terror that some of these people may also be experiencing. That was God! The Almighty. Who can stand before Him? Who? Those whom God has privileged to be with Him!
Then in John 3, we can read how the Pharisee, Nicodemus, came to Jesus one night. I was taught that Nicodemus chose this time so that he will not be seen by his colleagues. He sat face to face with Jesus, the Son of God! Jesus taught him some of the greatest teachings of all time, John 3:3, 3:16, etc. Sad to say, Nicodemus had a hard time understanding the deep things of God.
In the book of Job, we find lots of scripture where Job was in a discussion with God. We all know what Job went through and at the instigation of his three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, had some sort of debate with God. In the very last chapter, chapter 42, we find God addressing Eliphaz and instructing him to go and bring an offering to Job for their behalf so that Job could pray for them. This was a direct instruction from God. It had to be a “face to face” meeting.
I then leafed to the last chapter of Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians and we find this in vv. 2-4, “I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.”
In short, my dear readers, Paul was in heaven! The Kingdom of God! If you were i heaven, don’t you think Paul would have met God? I certainly believe so. Paul heard things that he cannot express and is forbidden to tell others. Did you think an angel escorted him around heaven? I think he met God face to face.
It would both be a thrill and a terror meeting God. You cannot compare meeting God with meeting, for example, the President of the USA. He would pale grossly in comparison. No one is like God. Based on the description of many people of the Bible, God’s presence would be awesome, magnificent–perfect.
In our present time, I have yet to meet someone who has been with God face to face. But it does not mean that It does not happen. Most the ones I know I who say that they had a face to face encounter with God was when they died and was sent back. In our generation, God speaks in subtle ways, not face to face. But that does not meet that He is not real. It does not mean that He is far. Its just His way now. He did not change, He’s just using a different approach.
Having face to face time with God would surely be something. It would certainly happen someday. If God has not chosen to “show” Himself to you then there is a purpose to that. God has probably chosen to show Himself to only a handful, but that does not mean that you cannot have a real relationship with Him. Because I received Jesus, God gave me the right to be called a child of God (john 1:12). Someday I would meet Him. I would probably ask Him a lot of questions. But then I believe that when I am with Him, I would probably be so awed that I would be speechless. A lot of us would be.