Living in the Light of His Face (Proverbs 16)
“In the light of the king’s face is life, and his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.” (Proverbs 16:15)
Often, we see the imagery of “seeking God’s face” recurring in scripture and we hear it repeated by believers. But what does it imply? This is one of the most explicit terms to express a pure seeking of God alone, not for benefits nor for solutions to pressing issues, but to know Him intimately. The aim is to look upon Him, to behold more of His divine beauty, and then to interact with Him in a way that only a face-to-face meeting can allow.
Proverbs 16:15 tells us that, “In the light of the king’s face is life,” and this truth lights up the rest of the whole chapter. Light reveals beauty to our eyes and gives hope, joy, radiance, and comfort. Light even reminds us of the mercies of God; perhaps there was a bright sunrise in the midst of Israel’s devastation, when Jeremiah wrote, “His compassions fail not. They are new every morning,” (Lamentations 3:22-23). On the other hand, we know that light also reveals everything; it shows us even ugly, repulsive things, and we see them for what they are. This is the nature of light, and this is also true of the face of Jesus, the King of Kings. By nature, He brings joy, hope, peace, beauty, comfort, and vitality to everyone who seeks His face. But He also exposes all things so we can see them clearly, even the flaws and residual sin in us, His people. We never need to fear or recoil from Him, however. The light of His face gives spiritual life; remaining in this Light is the very pathway that leads to life.
When we begin to see our own actions and attitudes differently in His Presence, we can be sure the Lord is clearing the way for a personal revival. We tend to act as we are “wired” to do, and we do not by nature think to examine our hearts. But when God’s face shines on us, we may suddenly see selfishness or pride, because “the LORD weighs the motives” (Proverbs 16:2). In other words, you or I may do a “good” thing, but God sees why we did the “good” thing, even if we are blind to our own motivations. If the motive is wrong, even the outward action is spoiled; the whole thing stinks to God’s nostrils. However, if He shows you this, rejoice. Confess the motive and let Him purge you in a new way. If you follow through, you will grow leaps and bounds in your walk with Christ, and others will see the good work of God. More importantly, others will be blessed by it.
In the light of His face, we will give up old pursuits and take up better ones. Our whole value system will shift. We, like the world, may currently value the ability to win competitions and arguments in the realm of the flesh. But we find, in the face of God, that “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (16:32). Suddenly, we see the invisible attainments of self-control and gentleness as worth our pursuit, while the earthly gains are neither here nor there. If you will let Him work on you in the light of His face, you can be sure He will pour out His Spirit as you yield to Him; “His favor is like the clouds of the latter rain” (16:15).
The Rock Church