A Divine Imperative

J. D. Conley
February 1, 2015

What is more desirable, knowing or seeing God? Which of these blessed advantages takes the imperative in our minds? While it is true we will never see God without knowing Him, (Heb.12:14; 1 Jn.2:3), nonetheless, if the choice were presented us this moment to see Him or to know Him, which would we choose? Perhaps far too many would make the choice to see God rather than knowing Him. Unfortunately, human curiosity would probably trump a spiritual relationship; such a desire is truly regrettable. Jesus says, "the pure in heart shall see God" (Mt.5:8). But this visual blessing will never occur unless it is preceded with a knowledge of God in this life.

There has always existed a desire for human beings to know God. But very often our knowledge is superficial being limited to just seeing God, i.e., having a knowledge of His appearance. While there is nothing wrong in having such a desire, a desire to know God, more deeply, [e.g., His nature, character and Will] should take precedence. Also, there ought to exist a desire on our part to be known by God. In speaking prospectively, Jesus underscores the urgent need to be known by God when He says: "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Mt.7:23).

One of the most intriguing passages in the Bible regarding knowing God, being known by God, and seeing God, is recorded in Exodus chapter 33, verses 12-23. An investigation into this text shows that God knew Moses, (vv.12,17). Moses needed to know God, (v.13). Moses saw God, (v.23). Whereas, Moses needed to know God he did not need to see God. Yet, he was privileged to see God's "backparts" v.23. This detail stirs up our inquisitiveness! What exactly did Moses see? How do the hinder parts of God appear? What would we give to see what Moses saw?

We can only imagine the majestic radiant glory the patriarch was blessed to see. If we want to see God in His fullness, not in part as did Moses, then its imperative that we know God in this life. How do we know God? "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1Jn.2:3). This means knowing God is the Divine imperative over seeing God. If we know God we'll some day see Him. If we fail to come to know God, we shall never see Him. At the moment, knowing God should prevail over any desire to see Him. What will it take for us to see God? A diligent study of His Word, a careful application of His Word to our every day life, and ceaseless prayer.

Acquire The Knowledge So As To Achieve The Sight!