I had finished preaching a night of revival at a church where one of my friends serves as pastor. The pastor, myself, and a few other pastors who had come to revival that night got into the pastor’s SUV so that we could make our way to the restaurant. The pastor had been bragging about this restaurant all day long. He had told has that the food was great and that there was an indoor section to the restaurant as well as an outdoor patio area overlooking the water. The pastor told us that he enjoyed the restaurant so much that he had gone there twice a week for the past couple months. With all of that in mind, it was rather strange to me that when we got into the truck, the pastor put the address of the restaurant into his navigation system. I said to him “if you have been there so many times, and if you are familiar with the route, why do you need the navigation system to direct you…” He reminded me that he was a techno-geek, and that he just enjoyed this voice giving him directions!
Guidance for this pastor was a luxury but it was not a necessity. In Exodus 33 guidance for Moses was not a luxury it was a necessity. Moses and the children of Israel had covered a lot of ground up to this point. The sea had been crossed. Moses and the people had spent some days in the Desert of Shur. In Marah they encountered bitter waters. From there they ran into twelve springs and seventy palm trees in Elim. Soon thereafter the traverse the barren lands of the Desert of Sin. From there they camp out in Rephidim. They continue their trek until they reach the Sinai Peninsula.
A lot of ground had been covered by Moses and the people. All of this ground, however, was familiar to Moses. When Moses fled from Egypt he went to the area of Sinai and settled there. It was in this Sinai area where Moses shepherded sheep. It was in this area where he had found a wife and had children. And then after having had the burning bush experience, Moses had made his way back to Egypt. In other words he was familiar with this territory. Bitter waters in Marah were unpleasant to Moses but they weren’t a shock to him. The hills and mountains between Egypt and Sinai were rugged and treacherous, but he had been that way before. But now Moses was about to launch into some unfamiliar territory. The stretch of the journey from Sinai to Canaan was brand new to Moses. He had worn no path in that direction. Guidance would not be luxury it would be a necessity. Dependence on God was no longer an ornament was indispensible. Moses could do Egypt to Sinai with “his eyes closed.” But Moses knew nothing about the Sinai to Canaan.
When we keep doing the same thing; when we keep traveling the same direction, dependence on God becomes a luxury and not a necessity. Sometimes we get good at the journey from Egypt to Sinai. We get familiar with Egypt to Sinai. We know all of the rough places. We become aware of the mountains and the curves. We are less dependent on God when we know the way. In our lives, in our churches when we keep doing the same things the same way, we take God’s presence and intervention for granted. It is a temptation to become comfortable with Egypt to Sinai. As a matter of fact, if Moses and the people wanted to delude and deceive themselves that could have just kept going back and forth from Sinai to Egypt and from Egypt to Sinai, just so that they felt like they were doing something. But at that rate they would have never made it to the promised land.
A part of getting to where God wanted them to be included having to deal with some places where they had never been. Moses could not take God’s guidance and presence for granted now that WordPress.com he was headed somewhere he had never been. When we launch into something we have never done; when we head in a direction where we have never been, we can’t take God’s guidance and presence for granted. When we try something new, we can’t help but to consciously depend on God. Self-reliance is more of a temptation when you keep going back and forth from Egypt to Sinai. It’s hard to rely on self when you don’t know where you are going. It’s hard to rely on self if you #04 aren’t sure how a way is going to be made. In the book of Joshua, the priests tell the people, who are preparing to cross the Jordan river, to follow the 23:30 ark into the water, because they are going a way they had never been. If you want to experience the manifested presence of God, you may want to launch out into something you have never done and go where you have never been. Familiarity does breed contempt, even for the presence of God.
Moses had never gone beyond the comforts of Sinai and Mt. Horeb, that’s why in this chapter Moses is so adamant about connecting with God. It is time for him and the people to leave the region of Mt. Sinai. But before they go he want to make sure that he is not going alone. He is in need of the presence of God. God confirms that fact that he will be with Moses. Up to this point God had been with them as a cloud by day and fire by night. But now Moses needs more than that; so God promises to be with him and with the people as they travel.
After having heard from God to that God would be with them in the coming days of their pilgrimage, Moses then makes a BOLD REQUEST. He says “Now show me your glory….” God had already promised that he would be with them in the coming days. God already promised that he would accompany them as they make their way to Canaan. But all of that would be for tomorrow. Moses says “ I need something right now.” Before Moses made one more step in the direction of their destiny; before Moses encountered the difficulties of what was ahead, he asks God to see God’s glory. Moses needs something right now. He needs some experience of God in the present which will empower him for his tomorrow.
He wants to see the glory of God. He wants some manifestation of the presence of God. He wants to see glory. He wants to so the brilliance of God’s beauty. He wants to see the evidence that God is there. He feel s like he can deal with whatever tomorrow brings as longs framg?ng as he has seen some of God’s glory. God’s glory is the revelation of God’s character. It is God’s glow. God’s shekinah glory is God’s visible outpouring of God’s essence.
Moses had seen the burning the bush. Moses had heard the unmistakable voice of Jehovah. Moses had been up on the mountaintop with God. Moses had received the ten commandments. Moses had received instructions concerning the construction of the tabernacle. But he wasn’t satisfied. He wanted more of God. The more he got of God the more wanted God. He had worked for God. He had led God’s people. But that wasn’t enough. None of that could take the place of wanting more of God. To have received some of God, created an insatiable desire for more of God. A. W. Tozer says that the soul’s paradox of love is to have found God but still seek God. That’s my question: do you want more of God? Has your work for God replaced your thirst for God? Do you desire a closer walk with God? We ought to echo the sentiments of the Psalmist who said “one thing have I desired of the Lord and that will I seek after…” We ought to echo the sentiments of the psalmist who said “as the deer pants after the water, so my soul pants after Joachim you O God.” Even after having worked for Christ for years, Paul, the prisoner of the Gospel, could be heard saying “that I may know him, and power of his resurrection…” It is your desire to see God’s glory when with you come into the worship place. I know it sounds too mystical for some of us, but when we come into God’s house we ought to want to see God’s glory!
Moses wanted more of God! But the part that amazes me is that Moses has the nerve to request it. This sounds like more than a request; it sounds like a demand: “now show me your glory…” It borders on being rude. “Show me your glory…” Moses is demanding something of God. It sounds like the God who has been commanding Moses is now being commanded by Moses. Moses can only have this kind of boldness in prayer, because of Moses’ relationship with God. Boldness in requesting happens in a context of established relationship. Moses had spent quality time with God on the mountaintop. They had been “hanging out” together. Therefore, Moses had some pull with God. You only have pull with God when you’ve been in fellowship with God. The writer of Hebrews says “let us come boldly to the throne of grace…” Your children or grandchildren have no problem coming to you asking you for money as opposed to some strange child from the street who you don’t know. Your children or grandchildren feel like they have relationship with you. And I child who is in good fellowship with the parent can be even bolder in their requests. There are some children or grandchildren who only call on their parents when they need something; other than that, the parent never hears from them. In that case the child can’t be too bold in their requests. When you have not been in touch with God, you can’t be bold in your petitions. When you have developed a consistent relationship with God, you have the right to be bold in your petitions. Moses said “now show me your glory…” Such boldness flows out of a reservoir of intimacy. Relationship with God puts you on one level of boldness; fellowship with God puts you on another level!
Moses’ bold request is met with A NECESSARY REASSURANCE. God says to him, “I will cause my goodness to pass in front of you…” Moses is going to get a passing glimpse of God’s glory. The glory of God is not going to tarry nor tabernacle with Moses. It’s just going to pass by. The principal meaning of the verb is “movement in contrast to a stationary object.” Moses will be the stationary object; glory will be on the move. It implies that something will soon vanish. Glory will pass by Moses.
However, sometimes his passing is enough. We don’t always need the Lord to tarry with us in a manifested way; sometimes God’s passing is enough. If that woman who had the twelve year bleeding issue was here, she would tell you that all he did was to pass through her area, and she ended up being cleansed of her disease. His passing is enough. If Zaccheus was here, he would tell you that all he did was pass through my town and I ended up being saved. His passing is enough. If Bartimeaus was here he would tell you that all he did was pass through Jericho and “I ended up with twenty-twenty vision.” His passing is enough. He’s passing through here today, and someone is being blessed! Somebody is being changed! Somebody is being encouraged. He doesn’t have to hang out for long; all God has to do is to pass by.
The reason his passing is enough is because is passing is productive; and the reason his passing is productive is because his passing is always pregnant with something. Whatever God has and is comes with God when God passes by. God never passes empty-handed. God tells Moses that when he passes by, God is going to give birth to “triplets.” Moses is going to be blessed with at least three things when God passes by. God says “ I cheap nba jerseys will cause my goodness to pass by…” Goodness is God’s generosity. Goodness is the concrete expression of God’s love for us. It is how God provides for us. God is a generous God, and when God passes by you will be blessed by whatever God has in God’s hand. God is never broke. When God passes by, he gives you what you need to make it. When God passes by, he helps you to make the “ends meet.” When God passes by, God opens up the windows of heaven and pours out blessings!
In God’s passing, Moses would benefit from God’s generosity. When God passed by, Moses would also benefit from God’s personality. The Lord says “ I will proclaim my name….” The Lord’s name is the Lord’s nature. If you know God’s name you will know God’s nature. God will be what God’s name is. God’s name is only that name because that is who he is in His nature. Joseph was told to name the child Jesus, because he would save the people from their sins. If you know his name, you know his nature. That could be why Moses, before he left to lead the people, asked God what his name was! Moses would find out something about the cheap mlb jerseys nature of God, when God passed by. He would learn something about the very person of God. God does not have to hang around long to find out something about who God is. God passes by in sermons. God passes by in nature. God passes by in human interactions. And from all of that we learn something about who God is.
When God passed by Moses would benefit from God’s generosity, from God’s personality, and he would also benefit from God’s sovereignty. The Lord says “ I will have mercy on whom I have mercy….” As God passes by, someone would benefit from God’s mercy. And no one could dictate to whom the mercy would be extended. God has mercy on whom God has mercy. God’s mercy is never a possession of those who receive, it’s always a gift from the one who extends it. I can never take God’s mercy for granted, because it is not my possession. It is a gift. And I may not always like to whom God extends mercy, but it doesn’t matter because I can’t control who God has mercy on. God may have mercy on the one who betrayed you. God may have mercy on the one who lied on you. God may have mercy on the one who stepped on you. God may have mercy on the one who we believe does not deserve another chance. But you are not the dispenser of mercy. Mercy finds it source in God. And God is the only one who determines who receives mercy. The best thing I can do is thank God for the mercy that passed by way!
In response to Moses bold request, God gives him a necessary reassurance. However, this necessary assurance is modified by a PARTIAL REVELATION. The Lord tells Moses to situate himself on a rock. Moses will need something solid to stand on when the power of glory passes through. The Lord says to him “I will hide you behind the rock and I will cover your eyes with my hand…” All of the language is “anthropomorphic.” The passage is talking about God in human terms. We can’t understand the unfathomable and inscrutable riches of the person of God without talking about them in the limited language and lingo of humanity. Anthropomorphisms are accommodations to human understanding. As God’s glory passes by, God will shield Moses from the full radiance of God’s splendor. In order for you to stand the radiant sunshine on a bright day, you may need some sunglasses on. God’s hand would be Moses’ sunglasses. Moses couldn’t handle all of God’s radiant beauty. The revelation would be both revealed and concealed at the same time. Whenever God shows up, God is both revealed and concealed simultaneously. God is both accessible and mysterious at one moment. In the words of Rudolph Otto, God is both “mysterium tremendum and mysterium fascinans” all at once. As “mysterium fascinans” God is attractive revelation that draws us. As “mysterium tremendum” God is terrifying mystery that repels us. I can never think that I have all of God. When his glory passes by, God covers my eyes.
The Lord tells Moses that when God removes his hand from Moses’ eyes, Moses will be able to see God’s backside, but not God’s face.” This is the backside of God. The backside of God symbolizes the reflection of God’s glory; the face of God symbolizes the essence of God’s glory. To see God’s backside is to see something of God’s glory, but not enough to overwhelm you. There was some grace in God’s backside. Moses could not handle the essence of God’s face. So God waters it down, by allowing Moses to see God’s backside. God’s face is too much. In Moses fleshly, carnal state, he could not handle the face of God. I remember when we use to have frozen orange juice that a came in a little can. We would have to thaw it out and then mix it with water. We could not drink it out of the can, because it was too concentrated. God’s backside is God’s glory mixed with some water in order to make it palatable.
“While it was only God’s backside, it was all that Moses could survive, and it was more than any person had been privileged to see. To see a little of the infinite God was more than the mind can fathom. Moses will be dipping deeper into the bottomless well of God’s infinite glory than a person has ever dipped before, and yet he still will have but skimmed the surface of God’s splendor.”
The backside of God’s glory was limited but it was enough. It wasn’t all of God, but it was enough of God. Isaiah’s rapturous vision pictures the “train of God’s robe” filling the temple. That was God’s backside. But that was enough for him to cry “woe is me…” God’s backside is enough. God’s backside is enough for us. Right now his face would be too much. We can shout about God’s backside. Moses need a glimpse of glory in order to make it the rest of the way. The journey was not going to be easy. There was going to be some rough places. There was going to be some unpredictable places. So he needed a glimpse of God’s glory. When we have some rough terrain in front of us, God will show us God’s glory. Some of us have some struggles in front of us, but a view of God’s backside is enough to strengthen you Контакт to make it. God will show you his backside in worship. God will show you his backside in prayer. God will show you his backside in the middle of the night when the tears are streaming down your face. When you feel like you can’t make it another day, God will show you God’s backside. And that will be enough for you to make it to the promised land. The disciples had just heard about how Jesus was going to be betrayed and crucified. They knew the road ahead was going to be difficult. So Jesus took them up on a mountain and was transfigured in front of them. They saw as much of his glory as they could handle. They needed that glory to be able to handle what was ahead of them. God will show you glory just when you need it!
Moses was only privileged to see God’s backside. We have a greater privilege than Moses because the face of God was more fully revealed in Jesus. In Jesus we got a fuller revelation of the God’s backside. Jesus said “when you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the father….However, we still could not see the fullness of God’s face. But Paul said “for now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known”. We live between “now” and “but then.” “Now” we can only see the backside; but then “we will see his face…” “The sky shall unfold, preparing his entrance; the stars shall applaud Him with thunders of praise…The sweet light in His eyes shall enhance those awaiting..And we shall behold Transitions him, then face to face… We shall behold him, we shall behold him, face to face, in all of his glory! The angel shall sound the shout of his coming…And the sleeping shall rise from their slumbering place… And those who remain shall be changed in one moment… And we shall behold him, then face to face…