Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am G-d, and there is none else.
In this blog we are going to explore the depths of the words, “Look unto Me”
The first two words of this verse in English come from the Hebrew words, p’noo eilay which means to make the motion of turning your face toward G-d.
We can gain more insight by looking into the Hebrew word for face, PaNiM (pa-neem).
The plain simple meaning of these words is to physically turn your face toward G-d.
How does one turn his face to the Infinite G-d, Who possess all of His Creation? There is not one place you can go that He is not there; so where are you to turn your face?
The importance of the face:
Within Torah Judaism a married woman who practices true modesty and decency covers her body and her hair. Her hair becomes a private part only to be enjoyed by her husband only. This leaves her only her face shown.
There is much symbolism in this as the face is the essence of the person, not the body.
The same Hebrew letters for face, peh-nun-yud-mem, p’nim is also the Hebrew word for, inside.
We now gain insight that the face displays what is inside of a person. A modest Jewish woman is expressing that what is on the inside is more important than what is on the outside.
When we turn our face to G-d, we are turning to Him our very being that which is on the inside, our soul; that which makes up who we are. And this leads to the next level.
P’NiM, can be read as face or faces plural, in as we have many faces. We have a face at home, one with our wife, children, we have a face at work, we have a face with our friends and so on. These faces all display who we are.
There is an interesting similarity found in the Torah, contained within the sacred Jewish Prayer the Shema, which Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is part of; it tells us in verse 5 to love –d with all our heart. The Hebrew word for heart is, lev – lamed-beis. In the word heart in the passage it has 2 beis.
The sages of Israel teach us that the letter, beis comes from an ancient symbol of a house, thus we learn from the Shema that our heart has two houses – the good inclination and the evil inclination and G-d wants us to love Him with both houses. And so with our face, it houses the expressions of the heart for on our face is our mouth and it is the voice of our heart.
In all of this G-d is telling us to turn all this toward Him, turn our face to His.
I asked earlier how do we turn our face to His, what is the face of G-d in the world.
The face of G-d is His Torah; the Torah is His revelation on earth. In it we see his face, Who He is to Israel, Who He is to the Nations. The Torah is also His Mouth for it is His word, The Torah is his heart for through it we see His desires. The Torah is also His House where He lives – the Torah begins with the letter Beis and He established His house first, which is the Torah.
HaShem desired for the sake of righteousness that the Torah be made great and glorious.
King David tells us in Psalms 19 that the Torah is perfect, it restores the soul, it makes people wise and that there is great reward for those who keep it,
When we turn our face to G-d we turn to His Torah, in it we will gain emuna/faith, we will learn the will of G-d and that will teach us to pray.
HaShem is close to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely.
Through looking toward His Holy Torah and calling on Him we turn our face toward Him. Turning our face toward Him involves bring all we are to him; we bring our many faces and that which is good and that which is evil that is in us. We turn it all toward Him.
When we do this it says we will be saved.
What does this mean to be saved?
Ezekiel 18:21-23, 27-28
But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his transgressions that he hath committed shall be remembered against him; for his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? Says the L-rd GOD; and not rather that he should return from his ways, and live? – Again, when the wicked man turned away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28 Because he considered, and turned away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
For a more detailed teaching on the above passage I recommend my blogs, https://emunatrek.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/the-teaching-of-abraham/ & https://emunatrek.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/the-path-of-return/
When we turn to G-d with all our being we will DO what He has given us to do, be it a Jew or one from the nations who are not Jewish.
In the links above the explanation of the duties we are to do in our service to G-d is laid out.
When one turns his face to the Torah, G-d’s revealed face for in it we see His expressions and hear His voice, we will see and hear that He alone is G-d and there is no other. He is not made up of parts and pieces, there is no god head and there is no one with Him – He is alone and there is none other but Him.
Terry W. Hayes