FrontLine • March/April 2009
In Psalm 16:11 we read, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy.” It is the second phrase of this verse we are going to examine as it applies to the Lord’s people. In Exodus 33, Moses prayed for the Lord’s presence. He said in verse 13, “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” Then in verse 14 the Lord answered, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.”
What a statement from the Lord to Moses! But Moses was not satisfied. In the next verse he said to the Lord, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Moses recognized his total dependence on the Lord and craved His presence. Moses’ desire was so great that he wanted to actually see the Lord with his own eyes. But the Lord said in Exodus 33:20, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” Although the Lord couldn’t allow Moses to see His face, He did allow him to see a part of His glory. God said in verses 22–23, “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”
Why couldn’t Moses, and why can’t we, see the Lord’s face here on earth? Because humanity cannot look upon Deity and live! But in Heaven we shall see the Lord’s face. Revelation 22:4 declares, “And they shall see his face.”
Many people say, “If I could only see the Lord, then I would believe in Him.” But the truth is, they still would not believe in Him. This is illustrated in Luke 16, when the rich man died and went to Hell. In verses 27–31 he pleaded with Abraham,
I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him [Lazarus] to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Mankind must believe what the Lord says in His Word, because it alone is the absolute truth! When God told Moses, “My presence shall go with thee,” He meant exactly what He said. The same is true for those of us who are saved. Since we cannot see the Lord, we must believe His Word and acknowledge His presence in our lives.
I will never forget how fearful I was when I left my parents in West Virginia to go to Bob Jones University to prepare for the ministry. As I was driving up the old dirt road, I cried out to the Lord, “You have to be with me!” An unusual peace and calm filled my soul that I cannot express in words. The truth of God’s Word became a reality to me that night. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
When my father, a Christian who loved the Lord, passed away, I was comforted by the awesome surrounding presence of the Lord. I stood by my father’s casket and witnessed to coal miners who had worked with him. The peace, comfort, and presence of the Lord were overwhelming; the truth of Psalm 16:11 is real! First Corinthians 6:19 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” We are indwelled by the very Spirit of God Himself; therefore, we will always be in His presence. In Matthew 28:20 Christ said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Since He clearly promises that He will always be with us, why should we allow anxiety and despair to rob us of the wonderful truth of His presence? I encourage those who read this article to memorize Psalm 16:11 and meditate upon the reality of His presence.
Evangelist Jerry Sivnksty may be contacted at P.O. Box 141, Starr, SC 29684 or via e-mail at
(Originally published in FrontLine • March/April 2009. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.)