See God, yet Live.
Really, you may say?
Does the Tanakh actually say we can see the Almighty God and live? But, I have been told that no one can see God and live.
This belief may have originated from what God said to Moses;
Exodus 33:20 And He added, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live...
Yet, we encounter examples in Scripture where people saw God and lived.
As God does not contradict Himself, there has to be a simple explanation.
The answer as always, should not be obtained from any other source except "The Tanakh" (Bible).
Abram saw God and Lived.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty. Walk before Me and be blameless..."
Jacob saw God and Lived.
Genesis 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, saying, "Indeed, I have seen God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
Moses saw God and Lived.
Numbers 12:7-8 not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD...
The nobles saw God and Lived.
Exodus 24:9-11 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet was a work like a pavement made of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. But God did not lay His hand on the nobles of Israel; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.
Isaiah saw God and Lived.
Isaiah 6:5 Then I said: “Woe is me, for I am ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips dwelling among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.”
Job saw God and Lived.
Job 42:5 My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You.
TIP: Whenever there appears to be a seeming contradiction, read the entire passage. Many times the answer is there, hiding in plain sight. So let us go back 3,500 years in time to this amazing discussion that Moses had with God and examine the entire discourse.
EXODUS 33: 18-23
18 Then Moses said, “Please show me Your glory.”
19 the LORD replied, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My name—the LORD—before you. I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
20 And He added, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.”
21 The LORD continued, “There is a place near Me where you are to stand upon a rock,
22 and when My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
23 Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.”
Moses asked God.
"Please show me your GLORY"
And this is the clue! The Glory of GOD was present. This supernatural phenomena can impact a physical surrounding in amazing ways.
Moses face GLOWED.
Exodus 34:29-30 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.
Moses could not enter His Presence.
Exodus 40:34-35 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
Aaron, the High Priest had to be careful.
Leviticus 16:2 The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.
The "Glory of the LORD" was LIKE fire at night and a cloud in the day.
Numbers 9:15-16 On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire.
Exodus 24:17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.
The Glory of God could burn a sacrifice.
Leviticus 9:23-24 Moses and Aaron then entered the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.
It is indeed possible to see God face to face and LIVE, as demonstrated by; Job, Abram, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and Isaiah.
Though, when the Glory of God is present, a different situation occurs and no physical human can look at the face of the Almighty God and live.