There is a statement made several times in the Bible that God has righteousness but to us is “confusion of face” (Daniel 9:7). It is a Hebraism which to our modern ears sounds rather silly, but since it is used by folks like William Blake it becomes cool and hip and the cognoscenti love it. But what does it mean? It can mean confusion, humiliation, shame and a feeling of guilt.
Our faces are confused when they can’t figure out if they should be blushing or not. They are confused when they don’t know where to look, either for help or for a way out. Our faces are confused when they don’t know whether to look right at their accuser or look away. Faces are confused when they don’t know who the accuser is. Faces are confused when they know that the questions raised cannot be answered “with a straight face” but with a “crooked tongue”.
Events such as we have seen lately and much too often, tend to make us look around for reasons and causes and folks to blame because they bring us to the point where we actually have to “face” the real issue of sin and evil. We have been secularized to a point where we cannot give faith answers to the so called questions that matter. When we cannot bring God’s answers to God’s world we find quickly that there are no answers. We have to face the fact that the human condition apart from Christ and the forgiveness He won on the cross is shameful, humiliating, confusing and ultimately damning. Yet the Cross produces a confusion of face too.
Thus might I hide my blushing face, While his dear cross appears; Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt mine eyes in tears. (Alas and Did My Savior Bleed” LSB 437