When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.(Exodus 34:29 ESV)
Sometimes reading an episode in scripture, it can be hard to find something to write about from the heart. That’s because the content might require some work to understand and see its significance. There are other episodes, however, where it’s a challenge to limit things to just one or a few things because it’s jam packed with things to talk about.
Exodus 34 is a chapter that I could spend a week blogging on and still not cover the riches in it. From God’s command to Moses to cut out his own tablets, to the people’s reaction to Moses after the regular tent interaction with God, this chapter is rich with content to consider.
The one I choose to consider is the effect of divine encounters on Moses. What I particularly note is how initially Moses has no idea of the change in his features. He has spent 40 days feasting purely on the presence of God. He asked for greater intimacy with God and did without the essentials as He had an encounter with God far greater than any He had previously. No food, no drink, no family, no friends, no people, no animals – just the Lord and Him. For 40 days. After which his life was forever changed as he got to know more about God.
In all that, such was his lack of external awareness that it took others to inform him of the external change. Others detected the external sign of an internal change.
It makes me wonder what would happen if we were sold out to seeking greater intimacy with God. Not necessarily at the detaching completely from the world in which we live, but a greater commitment to deeper intimacy with God. What the impact would be not just on a surface basis, but on a holistic approach. Its impact on us in our marriages, parenting, work, friendships, engagement with the wider world.
It’s so rich, so deep and so challenging.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden