Thank you for your excellent question. Let us read Exodus 24:7-11. “Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank” (NASB). It appears that they saw all of God, including his face, since it says that “they saw the God of Israel” and “they saw God.” It does not say that “they saw the feet of the God of Israel” or “they saw God except for His face.”

Now let us read some verses that appear to say the opposite. God says in Exodus 33:20, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live” (NASB). We read in John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” We read in 1 John 4:12, “No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” We read in Hebrews 12:29, “…for our God is a consuming fire” (NASB). We read in 1 Timothy 6:15-16, “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen” (NASB).

In an effort to connect these verses, let us read about Jacob. We read in Genesis 32:24-30, “Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”

There are times in the Old Testament when God took on a visible form that could be safely viewed by people. When this happens, it is called a theophany. Examples of theophanies are found in Exodus 24 and Genesis 32. No one can see God in His unveiled splendor and live. However, there are times in the Bible when God took on a form such as a man or angel so that He could be viewed without causing immediate death.

God could have stayed distant from sinful mankind. “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5, NASB). We also read in 1 John 4:14, “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (NASB). Have you trusted Christ as your Savior? He loves you so much that He died for you. When you know Him as your Savior, then you will want to praise Him and honor Him with your life.  (DJ)  (542.4)