The Upright Will Behold His Face

10 min readApril 14, 2023


Christ , righteousness , satisfaction , glory
Jeff segoviaBy: Jeff Segovia
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When we talk about blessings, what comes immediately to our mind? Is it that bright future that you are dreaming of? Is it that fancy car or an unexpected promotion? Is it that big, beautiful house? Or perhaps the healing from an illness that you’re longing for? Or maybe the blessing of being healthy? Could it be a wonderful marriage, restored relationships, or even a fruitful ministry? All those things are blessings indeed for “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above (James 1:17)”. If the Lord wills, surely such blessings can and will come to us.

The things mentioned above are the very ones over which we even cry for. We pray earnestly for these things for such are the desires of our hearts. What we pray for is what we desire. However, if our prayer revolves around these things quite often, we miss the point of our salvation. As hard as it is to admit, there’s no guarantee that the Lord will give us those things. That is not to say that we should stop praying for these things. “Let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6)”. What we are trying to point out here is that how far can our requests go? How much depth can our prayer have? How much desire can we express through prayer?

A Deeper Request

As I survey the Scriptures, there are people of God who had deep prayer requests. One is Moses. Consider his great request to God:

And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

Exodus 33:18

Great right? Here’s the Lord’s response:

But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Exodus 33:20,23

Moses’ request to see the glory of the Lord was granted however it was not His face that He allowed him to see but only His back.

Here’s another man of God, Paul the Apostle. Look at his deep desire to know Christ:

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2

Here we see a man who had no other mission in life but to know Christ and to proclaim Him. Paul showed us that it is possible to “count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8)”. His desire for Christ far outweighed any desire that he might have for the things of the world. “That I may know Him” – that was his cry, the deep longing of his soul.

Only the Pure in Heart shall see God

We have surely read what Jesus said as He taught the so-called Beatitudes (Matthew 5) about what is required in order for a man to see God.

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

Matthew 5:8

The idea is quite simple. Only the pure in heart shall see God. If there’s any blemish in the heart, that already blocks the vision of God. Seeing God requires His beholder to be pure. Utter perfection is necessary to behold Him who is perfect. No one is like the Lord. His beauty is matchless, His glory is infinite, His perfection is divine but only the pure in heart is granted the blessing to behold Him. The purity that every heart needs in order to see God is not constrained nor defined by mere behavior and words. It is being without blemish and truly separate from sin. This is testified as well by the Psalmist:

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.

Psalms 24:3-4

In that text first we see what it means to see the Lord. Seeing the Lord means being where He is and standing in His holy place. We also see here what it means to be pure in heart. A man who has a pure heart has not lifted up his soul to an idol. An idol is anything that is so much less than God yet man desires and pursues and allows to be enthroned in his heart. It is anything that dethrones God. It is anything where man feeds from when he is longing for satisfaction. It is the well from which man draws water that won’t ever satisfy.

Now the hard truth that all of us should face is that all of us have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and none is righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). We are sinners by nature, by conduct, and by choice. Sin caused us to be separated from God. It created a veil in our eyes. It darkened the eyes of our heart. It left us ignorant of who God is and unfeeling towards His glory. It made our heart like a cold stone that has no life in it. It is true that all sort of curses that we experience in the present time are results of Adam’s sin. Poverty, sickness, sufferings – all these things are by-products of sin. But the greatest curse that we get to inherit is the separation from God and the blindness to His glory.

Given that that is the case, if left to our own we cannot stand before God...we shall not see His glorious face. No matter how much we cry for God to show us His glory, He won’t simply grant our request because of the chasm that our sins have caused. His holiness and justice demand that before anyone can see His face, he must first have a pure heart.

Made righteous to see God

For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

Psalms 11:7 ESV

Here we see that the LORD is righteous and the upright shall behold His face. As what the Lord Jesus taught, the pure in heart, that is, the upright, is promised that that they shall see God. Jesus said that they’re “blessed” for there is no greater blessing than being able to see the face of God. But as we have already established earlier, sin must be given a solution for a man is just like a dead corpse who is not only able to see God but also has no desire to see Him if he is left to his radically depraved state.

The only way for a sinful man to be righteous and pure is for God Himself to clothe him with His own righteousness…and that is exactly what God did. The robe of righteousness that we must be clothed with is found in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Paul gave us a profound summary of what happened at the cross where Jesus bled and died that paved the way for us to be righteous:

For He (the Father) made Him (Christ) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (emphasis added)

Before God could clothe us with His own righteousness and be called His righteousness, He laid upon Christ the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). He imputed to Him all our sins so at the cross, Christ was wrapped with man’s sin and shame. He who knew no sin was made sin so that those who will believe in His name would become the righteousness of God in Him. Moreover, when we say that our righteousness is found in Christ alone, we also mean that not only His works paved the way for us to be righteous but that He Himself is our righteousness. The Prophet Jeremiah prophesied this and it was fulfilled in Christ:

In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called:


Jeremiah 23:6

Jesus Christ is the Branch of Righteousness that would come forth from David and the name by which He will be called is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jesus Christ is our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30). Therefore, the righteousness that we have in Him by faith does not only rest on His works but also on who He is. This also means that nothing from and in us is God’s basis for calling us righteous. It is all the Lord’s work and it is wonderful indeed. Grace, wonderful grace!

We shall see God

The sin problem which is man’s greatest malady is now completely given a solution. By faith, we are now counted righteous in Christ and He is now our righteousness. This righteousness is what makes us pure and not our good works. Our best deeds cannot add value to it for this righteousness is already perfect in and of itself. Our worst deeds cannot diminish its worth for no level of blemish can pierce through this righteousness. It is indeed the “best robe” that the loving Father gives for every prodigal who will come back to Him.

Having made righteous in Christ by faith and having Christ as our righteousness, we shall now see God. The “veil is already taken away in Christ (2 Cor. 3:14)”. So now, “we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)”. Our heart is darkened no more for God “has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)”. We can now be bold enough like Moses to say to God, “show me Your glory” expecting that He will surely reveal Himself to us. Moreover, the priestly blessing is now a reality in our life:

The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you...

Numbers 6:25

The purity of our hearts now comes with a deep desire to see God. Yes, the Lord will now let us see Him. He will even make His face to shine on us in the face of Jesus Christ. But it is both our duty and privilege to desire Him. However, this desire for Him is not produced by us. It is His inner work in us that causes us to desire Him – and this is the wonderful miracle of the new birth.

What a wonderful blessing it is to be part of “the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. (Psalms 24:6)”. The righteousness then that we have in Christ is not an end but a means to a far greater end. The means is becoming righteous by faith, the end is to see God in Christ. So therefore, the greatest blessing of a believer is God Himself. Every blessing and wondrous work that He wrought in us in Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit leads to enabling us to truly, deeply, passionately, and lovingly desire Him and embrace Him as all-surpassing and ever-satisfying. What we could never do due to our sinfulness was done by the Lord Jesus Christ so that we can be reconciled back to God and having now reconciled with Him we can now freely make much of Him. This is the blessing of the righteous and this blessing is what we ought to live out for the rest of our lives until our faith turns to sight.


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