Amen. This ends this
reading of God's holy, inspired, infallible, and
inerrant Word. May He write its eternal truth upon
Let us pray with boldness
as Moses did, "Lord show me Your glory!"
Did you enter into
worship this morning praying "Lord, show me Your
glory?" Have you been praying that prayer this week?
Do you want to see the glory of God in your passion
Moses had experienced the
many tokens of God's presence. The Old Testament
will tell us that Moses would be the only prophet
who knew the Lord face to face.
I. MOSES EXPERIENCE
Moses first encounter
with the glory of God was at the burning bush in
Exodus chapter three. The bush would not stop
burning, and as he approached it God spoke to him
out of the bush. Yahweh revealed Himself as "I AM
WHO I AM" (Exo. 3:14).
Moses also experienced
God's presence when he heard His voice and watched
how God overthrew the Pharos with the ten plagues.
The grand climax was experienced at the Passover
when Yahweh redeemed Israel and destroyed the first
born of Egypt.
He experienced the glory
of God, when the Shekinah glory led the people out
of Egypt on their journey to the Promised Land (Exo.
He experienced God's
glory when He saw the invisible hand of God part the
Red Sea and drown Pharaoh's army (Exo, 14).
He provided water in the
wilderness from a rock (Exo. 17). The apostle Paul
tells us the rock was Christ.
Moses saw God provide
manna and quail as their daily meals for 40 years
until they entered into Promised Land.
Moses saw the fire on
Mount Sinai which demonstrated His presence before
the people of Israel. Moses was admitted into the
immediate presence of the LORD, and received the Law
written by the finger of God of tablets of stone
The Law of the
Covenant is Broken
Then a tragedy of tragedy
occurs as Moses descends the mountain with the
tablets of the Law. Israel broke the covenant (Exo.
32:1- 33:3). They made a golden calf and worshipped
it. As a result Moses threw down and broke the
tablets of the Law (Exo. 32).
In the first year of the
Exodus at the "tent of meeting" before the erection
of the Tabernacle, God had descended on purpose to
honor Moses in the sight of all Israel, and He spoke
with him face to face, as a man speaks to his
friends (Exo. 33).
Jehovah had appeared to
Moses in all these experiences. God had demonstrated
His presence. Now there is need for a sense of
God's presence to reassure Moses in the work before
him. He will need this over the next 39 years as he
leads of rebellious, sinful faithless people.
"Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it
outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and
he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who
sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting
which was outside the camp. And it came about,
whenever Moses went out to the tent that all the
people would arise and stand, each at the entrance
of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered
the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the
pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the
entrance of the tent; and the Lord would speak with
Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud
standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people
would stand and worship, each at the entrance of his
tent. So the Lord used to speak to Moses face to
face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses
returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of
Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent."
for Israel (Exodus 33:12-16).
Israel had worshiped in
ways that the Lord had commanded them not too.
Therefore, God had spoken His judgment to Moses and
to the people in Exodus 32. Moses intercedes with
God in Exodus 33, pleads that God would not destroy
His people on the spot. God, in an amazing
expression of His graciousness refrains from an
immediate judgment that His people deserved. But He
tells them, "I'll give you the promised land, but
not My presence."
The great theme of Exodus
33, positively and negatively, is the presence of
God. Exodus 33:1-11 contemplates the people of God
experiencing His blessing without His presence.
Exodus 33:12 and following, show us the mediator is
utterly dissatisfaction with that solution. There is
the realization on the part of Moses that the
blessings of the Promised Land, without the presence
of the Promiser, is a curse.
Moses prayer does not
change the mind of God. He discovers how forgiving
God really is.
restored through Moses Intercession.
The LORD said, “My
presence shall go with you, and I will give you
rest.” Then Moses said to Him, “If Your presence
does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.
For how then can it be known that I have found favor
in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your
going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be
distinguished from all the other people who are on
the face of the earth?”
Moses goes on to argue that God's presence is the
distinguishing mark of His choice of His people. "Is
it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your
people, may be distinguished from all the other
people who are upon the face of the earth?" Moses is
arguing, "Lord, the thing that makes us
different, is that You are with us."
As believers in Jesus
Christ we need to remind ourselves the thing that
makes us different is that Christ is with us.
"Christ in you is the hope of glory." That's the
only thing that makes us different from this world.
Jesus the Mediator
Here we are seeing a
foreshadowing of Jesus the Mediator, with the
heavenly Father. The Father knowns Him face to face,
because He's the unique only one of a kind Son of
the Father. There's no one who has found the favor
the Son has found with the Father. The Father from
heaven declares, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I
am well pleased." If you ever doubt that your
Mediator has the pleasure of His Father, you listen
to what His Father says about Him. Moses’ mediation
points us to the covenant of redemption, and to the
heart of God, and gives us a foretaste of the
God restored the covenant
with the blessing of His presence.
II. SHOW ME YOUR GLORY
"The Lord said to Moses, 'I will also do this thing
of which you have spoken; for you have found favor
in My sight and I have known you by name.' Then
Moses said, 'Please, show me Your glory!' And He
said, 'I Myself will make all My goodness pass
before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord
before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be
gracious, and will show compassion to whom I will
"Show me Your
glory!" Moses uses the word
kabod meaning "heavy" or "weight." It describes
the infinite weightiness of who the LORD is. The
glory of Yahweh reflects the totality and substance
of His divine attributes, perfections and essence.
It refers to His power and holiness. Here is
described the divine character of God. With this
word kabod we see His holiness,
righteousness, wrath, sovereignty, omnipotence,
omniscience, omnipresence, steadfast tender mercies,
goodness, grace, love, etc. All of the attributes of
God are expressed in the kabod. God's glory
in the Old Testament usually appears as a bright
light or a burning fire. It is enveloped in a cloud
to protect the eyes of the beholder from its burning
brightness. The glory both conceals and reveals God.
Waite a minute. God has
been showing Moses His glory ever since He spoke to
him at the burning bush.
"Show me Your glory." It
seems to be a request not only for God to reveal His
essential nature to Moses, but also for God to come
again in a visible manifestation like He had when He
called Moses into this service in the beginning at
the burning bush.
There have been special
occasions in my life when the Holy Spirit has
suddenly and clearly brought me back to the day He
laid His hand on me and called me to His ministry.
Those days are precious and reassuring to the soul.
They are usually when He is preparing us for another
opening or a special ministry. Those are precious
moments when He shows us where He is at work and
invites us to come and join Him in what He is doing.
We must to go back
reflecting over and over, especially in those
moments of our lives when we are tempted to doubt
the Lord's goodness in our dealings, when He does
things that are inscrutable, when He does things
that break our hearts, when He takes away that which
is most precious to us, when it seems to us He gives
to His children stone for bread. That is when we
must remember this marvelous revelation in His Word.
"I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you,
and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you;
and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious,
and will show compassion to whom I will show
compassion." "I am gracious and merciful. That's
what I am, Moses. You want to know what I am really
like?" "My presence shall go with you, and I will
give you rest."
It is the
auto-revelation of God to Moses.
"And will proclaim the name of the Lord before you."
This is God the Preacher saying, "Moses, I am going
to preach My name." I am going to preach My
character to you, I am going to preach My attributes
to you, I'm going to preach My nature to you. I am
going to self-reveal who I am to you.
"I will be gracious to
whom I will be gracious, and I will show compassion
to whom I will show compassion."
God is sovereign, but He
is never arbitrary. We can never complain about the
way that He administers His justice. Moreover, we
can never claim that His mercy to us is based on
something in us, because "I will have compassion on
whom I will have compassion, I will be gracious to
whom I will be gracious." His justice is always
deserved; His grace is never deserved. To those who
are not "in Christ," "God is a consuming fire." The
Lord sees us in our utter ruin and depravity, and He
chose to have mercy on those who have no claim to
it. Grace upon grace, upon grace, and mercy.
Whatever Moses saw of
God's holy nature was transformed into a blazing
glory of bright light described as "God's back." He
never gives us details of what he saw. Moses saw the
"afterglow" of God's presence.
When Moses encountered
the glory of God restrictions were necessary.
"You cannot see My face, for mankind shall not see
Me and live!"
"Face of God"
The "face of God
represents the display of His glory. Remember, God
does not have a literal face. He is Spirit. Neither
does He have arms, feet, legs, hands or other body
parts. The Scriptures use anthropomorphic
expressions to teach our finite minds truths about
our infinite God. He uses elementary terms to teach
us about His attributes. He brings it down to our
level so we can understand.
This reminds us again
that God is incompressible, that He dwells in
unapproachable light. Even in our unfallen state we
couldn't have come into God's presence. The angels
themselves around the throne shield their eyes.
There is this refrain you continue to see in the
Scriptures. The LORD is a thrice holy God. We hear
Jesus say in the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the pure
in heart, for they shall see God." "Holy, holy, holy
is the LORD of hosts," cried the prophet Isaiah.
We see the glory of
God in the face of Jesus.
Paul, in 1 Corinthians
13:12 can say, "Now we see in a mirror dimly, but
then, face to face." And, of course, there's the
glorious passage in John 1:14, that tells us, "The
Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His
glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father, full of grace and truth." That passage is
based upon this Exodus 33 text. John is saying
nothing less than that in Jesus Christ we have seen
the Father's glory.
We have an even greater
revelation of the LORD our God. "No man has seen God
at any time: the only begotten Son, who is in the
bosom of the Father, has declared Him." The Lord
Jesus has "in Himself all the fullness of the
Godhead." He is "the image of the invisible God."
The LORD God who is invisible to mortal eyes has
become visible to us in the person of His Son, who
is the brightness of His Father's glory, the express
image of His person. Those who have seen Him have
seen the Father.
This was the truth, a
mystery that Moses probably did not understand at
this time. In Christ, "mercy and truth meet
together, and righteousness and peace kiss each
In John 17:19-21,
our Mediator prays that you would be invested with
His glory, that you might be united to God, that you
might behold His glory forever. Yet there breaks a
far more glorious day, when the saints rise in
bright array. And we see the King of Glory in all
His beauty and omnipotence. 1 John 3:1-3 becomes
more precious to the soul with each passing day.
God enables those whom He
calls to see His glory. Do you have a greater desire
for a deeper intimacy with God?
Desire for Deeper
Intimacy with God.
For forty days Moses had
been within the cloud, the earthliness of his nature
had been refined, and his whole being was imbued
with the light and love of God.
The glory we behold and
give back to God is not the incomprehensible,
incommunicable glory of the absolute divine
perfectness of God. It is reflected glory. It is the
beholding of Him with the soul by faith, the
perception of Him in His truth by the mind, and
feeling Him in His love by the heart.
God's saints are those
who press nearer and ever nearer into His secret
fellowship. By believing in Him, we rejoice with joy
unspeakable, and full of grace. By faith we see God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, ready
and able to reward His people. We rejoice with joy
unspeakable, and full of glory.
The Gospel is a
revelation of the "glory of God in the face of Jesus
Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).
We have seen the
glory of God.
We have seen the glory of
God as we dig deeper into the Word of God. It is not
the shallow reading that reveals His glory.
We have seen the glory of
God in Christ Jesus in our new birth, and it has
changed our hearts. It has renewed us after the very
image of our Lord and Savior.
We have seen the glory of
God in His atonement with all the perfections of God
harmonizing and glorified.
We have been washed in
His blood and cleaned of all our defilement.
We have seen Him to be
faithful, and just for forgive our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
With each subsequent view
of His glory we grow in the work of sanctification
being changed into the likeness of Christ from day
to day. In this way our progressive sanctification
is carried on to perfection. Do we need to see more
of the glory of God in our sanctification?
We have seen in Christ
how God can be "just and yet the justifier of sinful
Christ manifests Himself
to the believer as He does not unto the rest of the
We have seen Him faithful
in His provision for the needs in our lives and our
ministries. "My God shall supply all your needs in
according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
We have seen Him faithful
to give us a sense of His divine presence for
ministry. "I can do all thing through Christ who
Yes, we have seen the
glory of God.
2 Corinthians 3:18
"We all, with unveiled faces, looking as in a
mirror at the glory of the Lord, are being
transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as from the Lord, the Spirit."
A growing, deepening
knowledge of God's glory will ignite our hearts with
a blazing passion to love Him, and serve Him for His
When once we have been
brought into union and fellowship with the Eternal,
our thirst for God becomes unquenchable. We want
more of Him and His divine presence. We want to make
ourselves more and more available to Him. Lord, show
me Your Glory!
God's Answer to the
God's used four stages of
protection from death.
The Lord said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and
you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come
about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put
you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My
hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My
hand away and you shall see My back, but My face
shall not be seen."
The Mercy of God
The only veil which
really dims God to us is the veil of sin and
unbelief. When we praise God it is done away in
Christ for all who believe in Him as their Savior.
"We all, with unveiled face, behold and reflect the
glory of the Lord."
Our magnificent Savior
has sprinkled the mercy-seat with his precious
blood, and offered up the incense of his own
prevailing intercession on our behalf.
the Glory of Christ.
We must gaze directly
upon the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
without a veil between. When we pass on to others
that glory which we behold, we become transfigured
into His likeness.
We are to reflect Jesus,
as a mirror reflects and flashes in the light that
falls upon it. If there be a veil between the mirror
and the sun, there is no possibility of its
reflecting the radiant beams. If there is any sin
upon our heart which hinders our fellowship with
Jesus, there is no possibility of our passing on His
beauty. "For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ
Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants
on account of Jesus" (2 Cor. 4:5).
It is the transformation
The more complete is our
view of God, the more firm will be our confidence in
You want a changed life?
You want a passion for Christ? You want to grow in
His grace and likeness? It begins with the holy
desire to see His glory. It begins by laying down
our hearts before Christ. Contemplate Him. Love Him.
Think about Him. Let the pure face of Christ shine
upon the heart and spirit. He will be formed in you.
Reflect Jesus Christ in
every thought, act, and speech.
F. B. Meyer: "The Glory
of Christ and the Glory of Moses. The difference
between Moses and Christ lies here. When Moses saw
the glory, and reflected it, it was only skin-deep,
and it died away upon his face. In the case of Jesus
the glory did not come from without, but from
within; it welled up in fountains and cascades, and
issued forth from every pore of the body of His
humiliation. You may look upon Jesus from the
outside, and only get a transient likeness; whilst
if you have fellowship with Him, and He is formed in
your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will
be transfigured, beginning from the spirit, and
passing thence to soul and body. This is perhaps the
Growth in Christ is a
lifelong gradual process. We are changed "from glory
to glory." This life of contemplation is therefore a
life of gradual transformation. The glory which we
behold in Christ sinks inward, and changes us as we
look into its own image. Spirits that dwell with
Christ become like Christ. Don't become impatient.
It will take a lifetime.
Our prayer as believers
in Christ must become, "Oh Lord, I beg you, show me
Let us have this one
desire of the Lord, that we may behold His glory,
and exalt His gory for all eternity.
Like King David we can
"God, You are my God; I
shall be watching for You;
My soul thirsts for You,
my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and exhausted
land where there is no water.
So have I seen You in the
To see Your power and
May He give us courage
to do likewise.