Monday, February 02, 2004

The Priestly Blessing (part two)

Referring back to my post last Friday entitled "The Priestly Blessing". I discovered an interesting truth in scripture from the Cain and Abel story of Genesis 4. The story goes that Abel brought his flock and Cain brought his offering of crops to God. The NIV says that the Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering but didn't look with favor on Cain's offering. This is actually not the case when one looks at the Hebrew.

In the Hebrew, it actually says that the Lord looked or "gazed" upon Abel but didn't look upon Cain. It was after this that Cain was "depressed" and ended up killing his brother Abel. Cain seemed to be jealous of God's face turning toward Abel and not yet toward him. I wonder if, given some time, and given Cain's resistance of the sin which was "crouching" at his "door" in verse 7, if God would have eventually looked upon Cain. This may be reading into the text but I think He would have. I think God hints at this in the beginning of verse 7, "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?"

Its also interesting to note that God asks Cain, "Why is your face downcast?" So because God's face didn't turn towards Cain, Cain's face turned downward toward the ground. In the end, it is the ground which cries out about Abel's blood and the ground which curses Cain in verses 11-12.

All of this illuminates my desire to have God's face shine upon me and for His face to turn toward me. What if God's face turns towards another? What if God faces a brother in Christ? Will my desire to win God's favor cause me to be jealous of my brother? Will I murder him for it? Where will my face turn when I don't feel the warmth of God's gaze on me? Will I look to the ground only to be cursed by it? Or will I turn to my brother and join God in His gaze? Will my face join with God in His smile?

Father, I long for your face to turn my way. Yet when You look elsewhere, help me to look with You. Help me to also bless those You bless and love those whom You love. God, grant me eyes to see the gaze of your face. Father, help me to be a part of the work which You are always doing in this world. And give me patience to wait for Your face to turn towards me.


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