He had interceded for his people. He already enjoyed the privilege of engaging with God as friend to a friend. Now, however, Moses sought something more.
Please show me your glory.Exodus 33:18
The relationship between God and Moses was already special. The first encounter had seen Moses given an insight into who God was that was not even revealed to the great fathers of the nation. The encounter at the Red Sea was a key point in showing the people how he was approved of God. The level of insight into the Creator is quite something and it’s fascinating to see that this is an ongoing growing understanding of Moses.
Now this. Exodus 34 is one amazing description of God and man and God and His people. The renewal of the covenant is a moving picture of God showing mercy because of the intervention of Moses on behalf of the people.
The big deal though has to be quoted and considered carefully.
The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses quickly bowed his head towards the earth and worshipped.Exodus 34:5-8
We know who God is because He reveals His character in given situations to different individuals. This, though, is truly close encounters of the divine kind. No wonder Moses responds as he does. The outcome of the engagement as well is something remarkable because Moses’ visage takes on a glow that has folks saying it’s too much for them. Close encounters with the divine kind had an effect on Moses.
The close encounter was what Moses desired. The effect of it and its bearing on further encounters was not what he could have predicted. His heart, though, for himself and the people he led was that it was just a closer walk with God that was needed for the desired outcome to be achieved. A plea for something beyond the regular in engaging with God worked out to have a tremendous impact on the relationship and everything else from there.
The apostle Paul would highlight that because of the Holy Spirit, believers in Jesus Christ have something of an even greater glory than Moses. Yet is our heart as desirous for close encounters of the divine kind? Do we really appreciate just what an awe-inspiring privilege it is for us to read these words about Moses and God, reflect on what Jesus has done for us and what we now can experience? Do we long for that closer walk with God in the face of Jesus by the power of the Spirit?
God help us.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden