Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 33:18-23 (NIV)
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
Exodus 33:18-23 (MSG)
Moses said, “Please. Let me see your Glory.” God said, “I will make my Goodness pass right in front of you; I’ll call out the name, God, right before you. I’ll treat well whomever I want to treat well and I’ll be kind to whomever I want to be kind.” God continued, “But you may not see my face. No one can see me and live.” God said, “Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I’ll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. Then I’ll take my hand away and you’ll see my back. But you won’t see my face.”
“Then Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory!” And God said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the Name of the Lord before you; for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion (lovingkindness) on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man shall see Me and live!” Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place beside Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and while My glory is passing by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and protectively cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away My hand and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” -Amplified
We find Moses requesting to see God’s glory and the rest of Exodus 33 shares with us God’s response to Moses request. Notice, God does not out and out tell Moses “No”, but He does warn him that no one can look upon His face and live. Even in this instance God is looking out for Moses’ well-being.
Moses asks God for something that seems impossible to us (insanely so); let me see your glory. Who would even think of having the audacity of asking God, the Almighty, for such a thing? Charles Spurgeon though felt that Moses’ request was, “the greatest petition that man ever asked of God”. – A View of God’s Glory –Charles Spurgeon
God agrees to Moses ‘request. He says, “I will make my goodness pass before you. I will proclaim my Name before you. I will have compassion on those who I choose to have compassion and I will be kind to those whom I choose to be kind to.” In other words, God has chosen Moses to grant this special honor upon.
God grants Moses request, but with stipulations. “Yes, you can see me, but….Here is where God’s protection of Moses is evident. God tells Moses, “You cannot see my face; for no one can look upon my face and live.” With a Father’s heart God instructs Moses to place himself upon the Rock! WOW! What a wonderful picture of Jesus we have right here in Exodus. “Behold, there is a place beside Me, and you shall stand there on the rock…” Then, when my glory passes by you “I” will put in the cleft of the Rock and cover you with “MY” hand as I pass by. Once “I” have passed by I will remove my hand and you can see my backside.”
Moses experienced one of the greatest pictures of Jesus Christ and God’s salvation found within the Old Testament. He experienced this because he had a longing to see more of God and would not settle for anything less. Moses experienced Jesus Christ as the Cleft in the Rock because he pressed on and was not afraid to ask for more from God. Oh, that we too would have such an intense desire to know and experience more of God. Are you desperate enough to know more of God to press on?
Father God, I want to know you more. I desire to experience you in your fullness. I need a new view of your glory in my life, Lord. Please, give me a fresh encounter of your presence. Fill my whole life; heart, mind, body and soul with a fresh anointing from you. Show me you glory, Lord!