Moses’ Experience with the God of Glory

Most of know of Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush. Wouldn’t it be great when God called us to a task that we’d all get a burning bush experience with the voice of God giving us exact directions and instructions, along with some signs to show everyone God’s greatness and goodness? Yet even after the burning bush, the plagues of Egypt, the manna in the wilderness and water from a rock, we find in Exodus 33:18 Moses asking God to show him his glory.

The God of Glory in the Tent of Meeting

In Exodus 33, we find that Moses would pitch a tent outside the camp and far away from the camp. The people would all watch him and when Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent. Then God would speak with Moses. As the people watched the pillar of cloud at the tent, they would all rise up and worship God, each at their own tent door. But for Moses, we find in verse 11 that God spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend.

Moses’ Relationship with the God of Glory

Moses had an amazing relationship with God. But we too can have an amazing relationship with the God of Glory. God spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend because God wants to know His obedient children that deeply…and He wants us to know Him. He wants to communicate with us as easily as we speak to our friends. Through His Word and the Holy Spirit, He does just that. Jesus said in John 15:15, “I have called you friends, for all thing that I heard from My Father I ahve made known to you.” If we commit ourselves to love, serve, and obey the God of Glory, we can know Him and just as an amazing relationship with Him as Moses did.

Moses found favor with the God of Glory

In the beginning for Chapter 33 (verse 3), God instructs Moses to lead the people away from Mt. Sinai and He tells Moses, “Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” God promised to send an angel to lead his rebellious people into the Promised Land, but Moses demanded that God himself go with them.

In verses 12-13, Moses says, “See, you say to me,’ Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” God agrees to do so.

There is rest in the God of Glory

In Exodus 33:14, God replies to Moses, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Rest. Wouldn’t we all love some rest? Rest from the turmoil in our world. Rest from COVID. How our nation needs rest from racism, hatred, murder. Rest from political dissention. Rest from worry. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” We find rest – true peace and rest in the presence of the God of glory.

Finding favor with the God of Glory

If we want to find favor with God, we too need to ask God to show us His ways. As God reveals Himself to us, we then can know Him. Sometimes, we see God in the extraordinary and blessings. But we most often get to know God in times of difficult and pain because it is then that we must truly rely on Him just to get us through the day – or even the next breath.

It is when we that knowing God is our highest priority and the reality of knowing Him crowds out every other reality that we will know the God of Glory as Moses did. God told the nation of Israel through the prophet Jeremiah, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) If you’ve been seeking God, but don’t feel like you have connected with like Moses did – friend to friend – then are you seeking Him with all your heart? Is knowing Him your greatest passion and priority?

There is distinctness with the God of Glory

Even after God tells Moses that God’s presence will go with them, Moses expresses his concerns and says, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the fact of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16) You see, when the presence of God is in our lives and we are walking with Him, it should make us different and distinct in the world. The rest of the world should look at us and see something in us that they are missing in such a way that it causes them to long for what we have – the God of glory.

God agrees to grant Moses his request because Moses found favor in God’s sight and God knows Moses by his name. Knowing Moses by name represents the idea of a close relationship. Not the kind where you meet someone once a week at church and then have a hard time remembering their name. Moses spent time in God’s presence at the tent of meeting – often. Because God is all-knowing, He knows all of our names. But when God said He knew Moses by name, He was referring to the relationship He had with Moses as a close friend.

Please, show me your glory!

In response to God granting Moses’ request, Moses says, “Please, show me your glory.” God even agrees to this, but with great precautions and Moses was not allowed to see the face of God.

In verses 19-23, 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,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will 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.”

We need to see the God of Glory Today

When we think about everything going on in our world today and how much sin and evil rampages through our neighborhood, cities, and nation, it should be the cry of every Christian as we humble ourselves in repentance, seeking God’s forgiveness and ask Him to please show us His glory. Just take a moment and meditate on what our world would be like if the God of Glory showed us His glory. Then, fall on your knees as you cry out to God with all your heart – “Please, show us your glory!” What if every Christian in our nation and around the world today, cried out and asked God to show us His glory? Would you join us in praying for God to reveal His glory to us today?


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