One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me.
You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”
Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”
The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.
But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
Yesterday after I got off work, I was enjoying some quiet moments crocheting and listening to some messages by Loui Giglio (I definitely recommend that you check him out on youtube!!). One message that I listened to yesterday was on WORSHIP. Within the message Loui used Moses as an example and used the verses from the passage above to make a very important and vital point.
So before I continue on please take a moment and read (or reread) the verses from Exodus because they are so jammed packed with treasure and nuggets of gold.
So the scene is set....Moses is meeting with God. That is enough to blow me away! But to give you a clearer idea of what is going on, I will back up for just a moment. In Exodus 32 a terrible thing has happened in Israel...Moses has been up on the mountain for forty days and nights, receiving from the Lord all the commands and laws that the Israelites are to live by. God has made the covenant with Moses that the people of Israel are His chosen and special people...He will be with them and take them into the promised land and bless them as long as they follow His laws and regulations with joy.
All the while this is happening, the people of Israel have assumed that Moses' is dead and they have decided to make themselves a gold calf to worship. They have turned away from the Living God and made an image that they can wrap their minds around and bow down to.
God is not pleased with His people because of their faithlessness. So in chapter 33 He tells Moses to get going and lead the people of Israel into the promised land, but He Himself would not go with them. So now Moses is before God, asking Him to go with them...but He does not stop there.
Moses dares to do what few of us would ever imagine. He is not satisfied with just the thought of God's presence going with them....He is not satisfied just knowing that God's favor is upon Him...Moses is not just satisfied because God told Him that he would have rest and be fine. No Moses wanted something more...something so much better and deeper and real. Moses wanted to see God's glory. He wanted to know this God who had promised to go with them into the promised land.
And God did in part what Moses asked. He had all of His goodness pass before Moses as He hid him away in the cleft of the rock and than allowed Him to see his back. The Lord proclaimed His name that He is a God who shows mercy on those He wants to show mercy and compassion on those He wants to show compassion. And Moses was changed. His face was glowing! And the people saw it when He came back to the camp. They knew that Moses had met with God.
But Moses' request was only partially answered...but years later in the town of Bethlehem a baby was born. And the angels shouted, "GLORY! Glory to God in the highest!! And on earth, peace to men on whom His favor rests." And that night born in a stable was the very Son of God who is the glory of God.
Colossians 1:15 says: "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God..." Hebrews 1:3 also says: "The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God ..."
God's glory has come! Jesus Christ came to earth and has revealed the invisible, awesome God to us humans. How incredible is this truth!!!! Moses asked to God's glory, and He received his request in part only because the time had not come yet for Jesus Christ to be revealed.
So now let me come in on this truth from my perspective. I read the story of Moses and I just long for such faith...for such a passion and commitment to God in my own life. I long to ask God to show me His glory, but often times I just know that He won't say yes yet because I still have so many things in my life that need to be fixed. I really don't want to be disappointed because I know that if I ask God to show me His glory that nothing miraculous will happen. I won't see flashes of light or see God's face or hear His voice. So I don't ask because I don't want to experience that let down nor do I think I am worthy to experience it. These are the conclusions my mind comes to all too often.
But yesterday as I was listening to the message, something clicked in my mind...something I always tell others but find so hard to grasp myself. And that is this: God is not hiding His glory from me until I arrive at some pinnacle in my life where I have reached Moses like perfection. NOOOOOO!!! God has given me His glory in the person of Jesus. O I cannot even write the words that I long to express because this truth is so deep and we need to get this because our lives as Christians will not be what they are supposed to be until we do.
Jesus Christ---the very Son of God, King of kings, Prince of Peace, Lord of lords, Creator and Sustainer or the universe, Word of Life, Eternal God, Majestic Lord, Mighty Savior---came to earth to DIE. Why? Because we were going to die. We broke God's law and the punishment was death...not just physical death but spiritual death and eternal separation from the goodness and love of God. All we would have know was God's wrath and that was our fate because of our sin. But Jesus came to take our place. Jesus came to take our punishment. Jesus came to give us His righteousness so that we could know God and not experience His Father's wrath. Jesus Christ died in our place and took our punishment and gave us new life. Jesus Christ was buried and on the third day He arose!!! Jesus Christ is no longer dead...He is ALIVE!!! And He stands at the Father's right hand interceding for us. When Satan accuses us, Jesus speaks up for us because He took our place and now we can be with Him forever when we die.
And now in this life we can see the glory of God in Jesus Christ. And it is miraculous!!!! God has completely transformed our hearts and as we look into the Word of God we are changed because we are looking into the glory of God because Jesus is the Word of God and we have His Word in our hands.
So today, ask God to show you His glory...and then set your face on Jesus. Look at Jesus, fix your eyes on Jesus, and let the things of this world fade away. Set your face like flint on seeking the Lord. Do not be satisfied with God's blessing and presence in your life. Go for more...KNOW GOD!!! Ask to see His glory, and He will not disappoint you. As you gaze at Jesus, you will be transformed. And this watching world will see that something is different about you. They cannot see Jesus, but they can see you and they will be wondering what in the world you are looking at as you gaze at Jesus. And then you will be able to say, "I am looking at my mighty, awesome Savior!"