In the translating of Biblical texts, often a certain nuance of the original text is lost. Wednesday’s Word takes a brief look at our English understanding of specific Biblical words in their original Greek or Hebrew contexts. The purpose is not only to enlighten, but to uplift and inspire. There’s so much to learn.
When you look up the word “PRESENCE” (prosopon in Greek, paneka in Hebrew) in Vines Expository Dictionary, it directs you to “see FACE”.
Face? What does “face” have to do with “presence”?
PRESENCE (in Greek) = prosopon = FACE
PRESENCE (in Hebrew) = paneka = FACE
Presence in both languages carry, in part, the definitions:
“the countenance… the person… the part towards the eyes”
“things that are before your face”
“before… in front of… before the face of” (i.e. in the presence of)
In other words, to be in the presence of the Lord is to say that one is before the face of God.
Oh, be still my heart.
When we are in the presence of the Lord we are not in his general vicinity (as in sharing a room), we are not next in line (waiting our turn), nor are we merely a face in the crowd surrounding Him (hoping for a chance to touch Him).
When we are in the presence of the Lord we are literally before the face of God. We are in His countenance. We share His personal space. God is focused entirely and specifically on us.
We are face to face with God.
Really, be still my heart. Could anything be more wonderful?
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11 NIV)