Theophany refers to a visible manifestation of a deity or divine being to a human or other creature. The concept is found in various religious traditions, and the specific details and significance of theophanies can vary between these traditions. In the context of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism and Christianity), the theophany of God’s face is a theological concept that has been discussed and interpreted in different ways.
In the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, there are accounts of theophanies, where God is said to have revealed Himself to human beings. The concept of seeing God’s face is often associated with a profound and direct encounter with the divine. However, the idea of seeing God’s face also carries various theological and symbolic meanings:
- Moses and the Burning Bush: In the Book of Exodus in the Bible, there is a famous theophany where God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God replied that no one could see His face and live, but He allowed Moses to see His back.
- Jacob’s Wrestling with God: In the Book of Genesis, there is an account of Jacob wrestling with a divine being. After the struggle, Jacob said he had seen God face to face and named the place Peniel, meaning “the face of God.”
- The Face of God’s Presence: In the Psalms and other biblical texts, there are references to seeking God’s face as a sign of seeking His presence, guidance, and favor.
On October 11 at 7:05 pm, I, Fay Brown, was at the Cross Keys Parking Lot in Sicklerville, NJ. I had just come out of the Ross Department store when I suddenly felt the urge to look to my left into the sky. While I was on the phone with my husband, I began to shake with astonishment at what I was witnessing. I was so amazed that I asked my husband to hold the line because I saw what looked like “an eye” in the sky, gazing at me. I felt the need to capture a picture of this moment so that I wouldn’t forget what I was seeing. I stretched the picture and realized that it was a whole face in the sky. I searched for the interpretation and was finally able to understand what I was experiencing, my husband said it was a “theophany, and a dear son in Africa and my brother, pastor in Africa confirmed what I was experiencing.
The notion of seeing God’s face is an amazing spiritual encounter . Generally, it symbolizes a desire for a close connection with God, but it also suggests that we can’t fully comprehend God’s greatness and presence while we are alive on Earth.
From my personal experience that day, I felt that my prayers, asking God to reveal Himself and seeking a deeper connection with him, were answered. It was a reminder that God hears and observes us, much like the meaning of his name “EL ROI,” the God who sees me, which means that He is constantly watching over His children.