Read: Psalm 27

Your face, Lord, do I seek. (v. 8)

I’ve been trying to teach my seven-year-old son some basic manners. One of the things we’ve been working on is making eye contact when we are talking to someone. So much can be communicated by looking at someone in a conversation. Boredom or passion, trust or deception, focus or distraction, the eyes tell almost as much as, if not more than, our words. Keeping eye contact with someone when they are talking is hard work! It takes energy, patience, courage, and even a kind of love.

The Ten Commandments are a conversation that God wants to have with us, and it starts with the “eye contact” of our hearts. They begin with a passionate plea to return the gaze of God. “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod. 20:3) is about looking at God, looking for God. This first commandment is not just a prohibition. Taken positively, it is like a scavenger hunt to seek after God with our whole hearts. There is no neutral state, no standing still. The face of God is something that we chase, hunt, and desire.

The psalmist picks up on this in today’s passage. For him, obeying the first commandment is about a single-minded desire to behold the beauty of God. It takes a lot to keep eye contact. Like someone lovingly trying to read someone’s eyes to see what they are feeling, we seek after God’s face, longing to be loved and known by our Maker. —Steven Rodriguez

Prayer: Lord, help me forsake all other gods and see your beauty instead.