"Seek Ye My Face."

Ps. 27:1-8; Rev. 22:4-5; John 17:24.

J. A. Trench.

Article 32 of 55 from 'Truth for Believers' Volume 2.

How blessed that the Lord Himself has become our "Light." He is not often so presented in the Old Testament. We could not have borne it unless His love had been revealed with it; hence it comes out more in the New Testament. The One who has become our Light, with the necessary exposure of all our ruin, has also become our "Salvation." When that is so, we can say, "Whom shall I fear?" All the exercise that the heart is brought into, finds its answer here; He is "the Strength of our Life," so we can be fearless before the foe. We have confidence and boldness.

It is just this that made me turn to this Psalm — "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after." It is undividedness of heart that comes out here. "ONE thing"; what is it? "That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life": not merely when I go to heaven. His presence has become the sanctuary of our hearts. Unhindered access has been opened to us. There is no veil now. We may in spirit dwell there now, "to behold the beauty of the Lord." He had not yet been revealed when these words were written; He had not yet assumed the form of a Servant. His face, once more marred than that of any man, is now radiant with the glory of God. We know Him. But no visible form could have been before the Psalmist as he uttered these words. But we know what he spoke of anticipatively. Once we saw no beauty in Him that we should desire Him; but now He is the chiefest among ten thousand, the altogether lovely. How far are our hearts dwelling in His presence, beholding His beauty, and enquiring in His temple, with a deepening entering into His mind?

"That will I seek after." We desire it, and perhaps we seek it in prayer in the morning, but soon forget it. We fail to seek in the energy of faith what we have desired of the Lord.

And now look at verse 5: "In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me." How often we need trouble to recover our hearts to the Lord. But it was not trouble that led the Psalmist to seek the Lord. He sought Him for His own sake, and then when trouble did come, it finds him hid in the innermost part of His pavilion, in all the intimacy of the home-circle with Him.

I think especially of those who are young. What an encouragement it is to find God coming in to confirm us in our desires to seek Him. "Seek ye my face," He says. It is sweet to Him that we should seek Him. What a compensation for the soul that knows what it is to be set on this one thing, to be in His presence beholding His beauty. He satisfies the longing soul. He creates the longing that He may satisfy it. And with the satisfying comes a capacity for deeper longing. It is blessed to know what it is to have these divinely created longings. It is thus He carries on the growth of our souls.

Revelation 22 leads us on to the fulfilment of it all. The subject has been, in Revelation 21, the manifested glory of the Church, His Bride, in the kingdom, when we shall share His glory. But now it goes on to this — "They shall see his face." That is not manifested glory; that belongs to the intimacy of divine affections. There is where He fixes our gaze.

In John 17:22, and 23, He speaks of the manifested glory, "the glory which thou gavest me I have given them," etc. All that will be manifested when the astonished world will see us displayed in the same glory as Christ. But something more is needed for His heart: "Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory." That is not for display. It is beyond all that can be displayed. It is what He brings us into to satisfy His own heart; and it will satisfy our deepest longings.

His word for us now is, "Seek ye my face"; that is what He is going to bring us into in eternity. Oh, let us undistractedly desire this one thing and seek after it — "that I may dwell in the house of the Lord," beholding His glory.