The good news we have received can’t be hidden, this is why we say it is not for our archive neither is it to make us ‘rhema reservoirs’, it is for our transformation. It always alters our appearance for the good…glistering!
Although rarely preached about, the bible talks about our countenance a lot. Countenance, which is simply a person’s face or facial expression, mirrors the character and feelings of the heart. A countenance reveals our true condition, I like the way Cicero puts it; “the countenance is the portrait of the soul”. Our countenance reveals on our outside what is going on in the inside, and no matter how we try, it will be seen. Perhaps spiritual people will pick up on it much more readily than non-spiritual people but it will be seen.
The spiritual part about our countenance is that no matter what we look like, our countenance reveals what we truly are. By this I mean we can outwardly be a beautiful person but if we are spiritually ugly it will be seen on our face, sure we may have beautiful faces but the condition of our heart causes us to lose our beauty. On the other hand we may not be all that beautiful outwardly but because of our heart we carry a beautiful countenance, it is a most spiritual thing.
There are all kinds of things that our countenance reveals: anger, harshness, bitterness, sorrow, uncleanness, impurity, joy, sweetness, purity and cleanness.
In Genesis 4 we have the story of Cain and Abel, Remember verse 5? “But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. V.6 And the Lord said unto Cain, why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?” The word wroth implies that Cain was glowing or heated with anger. Anger is probably the easiest thing to see upon a person’s face, and so God being the divine one had no problem whatsoever seeing the anger on Cain’s face, on noting that his countenance had changed, that it had fallen.
In Genesis 31 you would see that it was Laban’s countenance that drove Jacob away. In verse 2 we read: “And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and behold, it was not toward him as before.” He had been with him for seven years seeing him on a daily basis but now something was different, something on his face had changed.
In Deuteronomy 28:50 where God is making clear how Israel should live in their new land He expresses that if they do not, there will be consequences; that a people with a fierce looking countenance will come into their land and do damage. Some of such are around us today.
In I Samuel 17:42 we are given a picture of David: “And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.” Here, we are given a glimpse of heart that showed upon his face for he was fair and beautiful of countenance. This is what our countenance should suggest: beauty, fairness and sweetness.
As we have said, however, our countenance can also reveal good and positive things as we clearly see in Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” Merry hearts are just wonderful to be around and because of all they are on the inside they are most certainly beautiful of countenance.
In the Song of Songs, which is far more spiritual, rich, and deep than what most children ever seem to realize we have an interesting view of the Father toward those who are in His Son. In chapter 2:14 we read: “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.”
In the eyes of our Father, all who are in the clefts of the rocks, all who are in the Son are of a beautiful countenance.
As a Pastor, it is hard to see people who used to glow to gloom and they either not aware of it or are insincere about it. A negative countenance repels people from you; it destroys, as it smells.
“Why is this so important?” Well, we need to realize that we can hide nothing from the Lord or from His children. What we are, what we are experiencing will certainly be seen. Secondly, we must note that a negative countenance can deter the furtherance of the message that is upon us.
If you find yourself slipping, pray in the Holy Ghost, reach out to other believers, equip yourself with tools –sermons, songs, and relationships- to come out of that dudgeon.
I pray today as in Numbers 6:24–26 that the LORD bless you, and keep you: the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and yours to the rest of the world.