Psalm 17:15 (ESV) As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
I became a Christian while serving in the army. I remember taking leave and going to my first church camp. The guest speaker/musician used Psalm 17:15 as a song. Singing these words had a profound impact on me and a passionate desire to ‘behold [Jesus] face in righteousness’ was birthed within.
In John 1:1 we read that ‘the Word was ‘with‘ God. The Greek word ‘pros‘ (with) has the general sense of “immediately before”. The image is of the Word [Jesus, the son of God] and God the Father being face-to-face. The idea of being face to face or beholding his face, has a sense of deep intimacy.
Isaiah 40:31 (ESV) but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
Here the word ‘wait‘ as an action in Hebrew indicates ‘to look eagerly for, linger, lie in wait‘ and ‘to collect or bind together‘. The act of entwining or seeking oneness with Christ promises a renewed, or more literally, an exchange of strength.
To seek Jesus’ face, to wait on the Lord, and to fix eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (heb 12:2), is not a pharisaic duty or function but rather the efficacy (potency) of our great affection: that is to say, our passionate desire to see him face to face produces our intense seeking.
Those who ‘behold [Jesus] face in righteousness’ are in fact the ones who ‘dwell in the secret place of the Most High’ (Ps 91:1).