For Yahweh is righteous. He loves righteousness.
The upright person will see his face.
Most people are familiar with Jesus’s teaching about how a good tree can’t bear bad fruit, and vice versa. His teachings gave birth to the widespread understanding “You will know them by their fruit”—i.e., if you want to know the nature of a person, look at their behavior, actions, etc.
I love how this familiar human principle is established in the God in whose image we were created. Questions are flung left and right even nowadays—and often aimed at God’s dealings in the Old Testament—asking how God can be good if any number of things happen. But when we look at God’s actions in the Old Testament, we see how His righteousness was manifest in bringing about the fulcrum of human history: Jesus. Some of the harshest steps God took to protect the Christ line against the enemy’s attempts to destroy it, suddenly become quite clear when we see them through the lens of the righteous outcome.
Yahweh is righteous. He loves righteousness. Thus everything He does is for the righteous outcome, because He can’t work against His own nature.
When this truly settles in our minds, we can find clarity in an aspect of our relationship with God that might not be clear otherwise: we are at our best, able to give and receive the love of our Creator, we when are making a strong effort to be righteous as He is righteous. Often we can begin to feel distanced from God if we’re trying to seek Him, yet actively allowing ourselves to be pulled away to the things of the world. We lose sight of absolute righteousness—the paradigm in which God operates—and substitute for a manmade sense of what is right or wrong. This sense is often flawed and perpetuates the distorted image of a God who “Wouldn’t do that if He was good.” But we ask these questions through a limited sense of what goodness and righteousness truly are! Apart from God, we can’t actually define these terms—because Yahweh is righteous. He loves righteousness. He will not forsake it.
Does God’s face feel obscured to you? I’ve been there so many times. Let’s take time to examine ourselves closely, even if it’s uncomfortable. Are we making a concerted effort to walk in righteousness, or have we let ourselves stray into a worldly definition of righteousness? If we have, there’s no time like the present to get back on the righteous path, my friends. When we surrender to righteous living and thinking as defined by God, we have His promise—we will see His face. And what a glorious thing it is, when we are moving in such alignment with Him, producing the good, righteous fruit cultivated by our Maker!