The image of God

“No man shall see my face and live.” “No man hath seen God at any time.”
(Then how can we, created beings, behold our Creator?)

Jacob the son of Isaac proclaimed, after wrestling with an envoy of heaven, “I have seen God face-to-face, and my life is preserved!” It is also written of Moses that “He spoke with God face-to-face as man speaks with his friend.” How can these apparent inconsistencies be reconciled?

The Hebrew word for ‘face,’ unlike in English or French which describes an external, like the face of a building, is panim, which is not only plural, but is the same root of the word ‘inside’ (b’fanim, panima). It is as the phrase “deep calling unto deep” (tahom el tahom). The Hebrew ‘face’ of a man is not merely the identifiable external features, but the internal person within.

And yet expecting a created thing to encounter its creator would seem to be as asking a painting to behold its artist. But it is written that humans are “created in the image of God.” When we look at the face, or into the eyes of our fellow human, do we see the image of God? Or do we behold the grotesquely distorted, flawed and damaged image stained in the downflowing river of human history polluted by the blinding nature of sin? And thus our expectations are often enough disappointed in our fellow man, and even by the face reflected in our own mirror.

But there is yet one in whom we may behold that image of God unstained, undistorted by sin and corruption, yet contorted by pain from our own sins that he takes upon himself at the Passover, to deliver us from the house of bondage and slavery in which we were imprisoned. To open our blinded eyes and behold panim-el-panim that image of God come into our realm of the created. And yes, “No man shall see my face and live,” for in comprehending the tragic and completely altruistic death of that ‘man of sorrows’ for our sakes, so comes the death of our old stiff-necked man in its pride of human wisdom, completely humbled, undone.

 ‘For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Yeshua the Messiah’– 2 Corinthians 4:6.

 And I will pour out upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[ of grace and supplication. They will look on[ me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” – Zechariah 12:10

THE GIFT OF MIND

The gift of a conscious mind is much like being given a wild horse at our birth. That wild horse has a mind of its own and will gallop wildly off through pastures and may trample anything in its way. Of course, there are different breeds of horses- the sleek and swift, apt for the race track, as well as the heavy, strong and slow, built for bearing heavy loads and wagons. A common requirement for both is that they must be tamed and trained and disciplined. And so with the mind.

The mind once saddled and bridled may be ridden upward to marvelous heights, even to the heavenlies, and to great achievements. Whereas if left undisciplined to its own devices and lusts, may ride us off into darkened canyons of oblivion along with stampeding herds of the likeminded, where herd consciousness knows no limits to the depths of depravity.

The mind owns the uncanny ability to absorb and retain all that it sees and hears, including the thoughts of others.  It may recall nearly all, to be used anew and recreated into new thoughts to be transcribed into art, poetry, music and the construction of new forms in all fields of endeavor, for good or for evil. The amazing gift of a sound mind is given with requirements and responsibility. The mind may choose to descend into the lowest rungs of Hell, or it may be ridden upward to encounter the Mind of its own Creator.