I love the presence of God.
I love him so much and often I love songs and prayers which cry out “Let me see your face! Let me know who you are.” And when the Holy Spirit comes and I feel God’s presence, it’s the best feeling in the world. His peace, his love, his joy, his fire–all of it is on me.
Yet even as one who loves the presence of God, Job’s encounter with God is sobering.
As you recall at this point in Job, God thunders from the cloud and challenges Job and his friends, reminding them of his greatness. Job gives a pitiful (yet rightful) response to encountering God and says,
“I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job’s encounter with God is a sobering reminder that God is not just full love and joy, but he is mysteriously great and can be absolutely terrifying. He is the high and lofty one who sits on the throne above the universe. He is the holy of the holies and no one has ever seen him and has lived.
God is the infinite blaze of fire–consumed with desire and full of emotion. When burned, his anger can lead to very devastating results for humans as demonstrated often in the Old Testament.
This is the God of Job.
And as I am crying out, “Let me see your face!” there is a renewed fear in me. I wonder if I know what I’m asking for, wondering if I know what I’m getting into.
Yet like a foolish lover, his mystery fascinates me, and I know my heart was made to behold him. I was made to see his face.
Yet who can see God and live? But if I see him and die, I am satisfied.