His disciples then and now are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. They arenamed as His own and He will keep them--even through the baptism of fire. Those whobear the Name of the Lord bear it into the midst of a world that is out of order, bear intothe heart of struggle and suffering, bear in the face of the enemies of God. But the everfaithful Lord promises to keep them. He will guard them, seal them, protect them andlead them into glory.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.(Jude 1:24-25 ESV)
Beholding the Shining Face
The Lord also promises to "
make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
"Even as the faithful fall into Babylon, the promise of His Shining Face remains. Ezekielbeholds this Shining Glory on the banks of the Chebar canal. Standing alongside thecaptives, in the midst of the dark land, Ezekiel beholds the glory of the Lord.This is the glory of the holy mountain coming down into the valley of the shadow ofdeath. Moses is called up the mountain to behold the glory. It is from this place ofbeholding the Lord that Moses speaks the Law and proclaims the Word of the Lord tothe Children of Israel.In obedience to the Lord, Israel builds a Tabernacle and later a Temple where the gloryof the Lord will dwell among His people. This glory is His favor, His intimacy, Hispresence. The Tabernacle and later the Temple serve as Mountains of the Lord. In fact,the Temple is built on Mt Zion. For the mountain is the place where man ascendsbetween heaven and earth to behold the glory of the Lord.This is the Aaronic blessing that the LORD "
make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you."
Long after the Temple burns and the mountain is far, far away, Ezekielbeholds the Shining Face. The blessing of the Name,the burden of the Name is thepromise of God's faithful presence even in the place of judgment. His people may enterinto judgment of captivity, but He will join them in the land of the alien gods.His Ever-Shining Face glorifies His people even as they suffer in the land of darkness.Paul knows the glory of the Shining Face in persecution, in suffering, in prison and evenin despair. In 2 Corinthians, he expounds the depths of his suffering and wasting awaywhile at the same exalting in the glory of the Shining Face that grows ever brighter evenas Paul is growing ever weaker.