The next part of the blessing is a little strange and sounds quite odd.
‘Make his face shine upon you’
It might sound strange but what it communicates is quite profound. The word ‘face’ here is ‘Panim’ in Hebrew which can also mean ‘countenance’ or ‘presence’. To get the idea, think of how a person’s face lights up when they see a loved one. It could be translated, ‘May God smile at you.’ It communicates God’s affection and pleasure at hearing our prayers.
I watched recently on Facebook a clip of a dog being able to see her owner’s girlfriend after 8 weeks of lockdown. It went completely mad, running around and wagging its tail like there is no tomorrow. He was utterly delighted to see her, smell her and have her fuss him. As a dog lover, it’s was sheer joy to watch and I don’t mind admitting it made me a little emotional. The girlfriend also has a huge smile on her face.
This statement here is about the joy of being in each other’s presence. The joy of being together just like that dog and his owner’s girlfriend. It again speaks of intimacy as it did yesterday.
This part of the blessing means two things: Firstly, we have the smile of God resting upon us. God is not frowning or looking angry at us. He is showing his favour. He always hates our sin, but how greatly he loves us (Jeremiah 31:3). Secondly, it means that his beauty is reflected upon us. We have no beauty of our own but through our union with Him, we reflect his grace and his loveliness, like Moses (Exodus 34:29) like Steven (Acts 6:15) like the saviour himself (Matthew 17:2). This can and should be true of all who love and belong to the Lord.
This is what we read in 2 Corinthians 3:18
So, all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Is your life pleasing to Him? Are you reflecting His beauty?
Let us pray.
Loving Heavenly Father, I humbly come before you and pray that You anoint me with your Holy Spirit. I repent of all my sins and commit my life to you. Lord, have Your way in my life so that I can reflect the glory and beauty of Jesus Christ.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen