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Moses: Show Me Your Glory – Exodus 33-34

Nov 19, 2023
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Show Me Your Glory (Exodus 33-34)

After the incident with the golden calf, God’s relationship with the people changed. In Exodus 33:1-2, God tells Moses that He will send an angel before them to drive out the people that are inhabiting the land God promised to the Israelites. Moses didn’t want an angel. He wanted God’s presence to be with the people. In verse 14, God says, “My presence will go with YOU, and I will give you rest.” God is saying that His presence will be with Moses, but not with the people of Israel. Moses replies, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. In other words, Moses is saying that he would rather have God with him in the wilderness than to be without God in the promised land. Moses and God continue to interact and Moses asks to see God’s glory. God says, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord’. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But, you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” Face to face is figurative language speaking about friendship. God told Moses to hide in the cleft of a rock and God would cover him with His hand and allow Moses to see His back as He passes by. The descriptions “cover you with my hand” and “remove my hand” do not mean that God is a very large human-shaped being with a giant but human sort of hand capable of sheltering a person’s entire body; rather, these are the kinds of necessary anthropomorphisms that allow us to describe God. It was a way of saying to Moses not that God has a huge hand, but that He would personally protect Moses from what otherwise would kill him. Ex. 34:5-6 is a powerful description fo God’s person spoken from Himself. He says, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” He does not reluctantly forgive sins against Himself and others. He does so eagerly. This also does not mean that God would punish children and grandchildren for something their ancestors did but that they themselves did not do. It describes God’s just punishment of a given type of sin in each new generation as that sin continues to be repeated down through the generations. Moses longed for God’s presence. We, through Jesus, have seen it fulfilled! (John 1:17-18) What Moses couldn’t grasp, we see clearly. Moses could only see the backside of God’s glory, but we can see His face! When God passed in front of Moses, he heard the speaking of a name. (Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9) When Moses heard God, he “quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped”. Questions:

  1. Are you careful, thoughtful, and responsible when you speak the Lord’s name? Are you in awe when you hear His name, or have you become “too familiar” with Him? When should you have more reverence for the name of the Lord?
  2. What is a promise from this Truth that causes you to want to worship the Lord?
  3. Choose to start your Thanksgiving week with worshiping the name of Jesus. Give thanks that you can see Him face-to-face because He resides IN you!