Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
As I read this verse one morning, the words reminded me of another passage in Exodus 34:29-35, in which Moses’ face shone from his fellowship with God on Mount Sinai. He had just experienced the glory of the Lord, and all the people could see the change in him. But instead of desiring to know God the same way because of Moses’ transformation, the people hid their eyes in fear, forcing Moses to cover the glow of his countenance with a veil.
I was convicted about all the times I react in the same manner when shown the glory of God and the possibility of closer fellowship with Him. Instead of following the footsteps of those around me who seem to glow from their relationship with the Lord, I hide my face and talk myself out of pursuing God’s glory because of the personal purging such an endeavor requires. When the Spirit beckons to higher goals and healthier growth, I often choose to hide my face and continue plodding the path of mediocrity, telling myself it’s not wrong to want to be average.
But it is. When I hide my eyes from the glory of the Lord, I am despising the very reason I exist, rejecting the Savior Who paid for my access to that glory. When I hide my face, I am behaving like those in John 3 who loved darkness rather than light. When I hide from God’s glory, I am choosing like those Israelites to wander uselessly in the wilderness for forty years rather than know the power of face-to-face communion with God. Moses begged to see the glory of God—but it took a journey up a mountain and forty days without food or water to bring about the transformation the people saw in his countenance. Glory comes at a price, but its reward is infinitely preferable to the reward of mediocrity and hiding our faces in fear.