12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” 14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” 19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” (Exodus 33:12 – 23)
Our 40 Days of Discipline journey this year will focus on a topic that is practically impossible to fully define – God’s Glory. God’s glory is after all, incomprehensible and incomparable. Even though defining our theme is difficult, the topic is of utmost importance. Over the next 6 weeks, we will learn how practicing the Spiritual Disciplines helps us to continually gain a deeper understand of God’s glory.
Please set aside 15 minutes without distraction. If possible, find a place that you can escape to daily and start by asking God to guide you. Read the passage above and consider the questions below.
- In your own words, what do you believe Moses is asking for when he says, “Now show me your glory” (verse 18)?
- Why do you think he makes this request?
Sharing your thoughts could be a big help to someone else. Please leave a comment on the blog.
March 6, 2019 at 4:41 am
I think Moses has doubt in himself. He was not sure if he can do what the Lord was asking him to do so to reassure himself, he asked the Lord to show him His glory. I guess, it is his insecurities of himself that makes him asked that question. But I do feel that Moses as always is willing to obey God. It is his many doubts of his abilty and fears that maybe causing him to doubt?! He needs to see God’s glory and majesty to make him more motivated to do the tasks he has at hand.
March 6, 2019 at 6:40 am
Moses is seeking God’s guidance, support, encouragement and leadership. He has a difficult task leading the “stiff-necked” Israelites.
March 6, 2019 at 6:59 am
I believe he wanted to see God in all His fullness. It’s as though he is saying to God show me who you truly are and all that comes with that.
Moses is needing reassurance of who God is in order to remind himself of who is going with him.
March 6, 2019 at 8:23 am
Although he had seen many instances of God’s power and exsistence I think Moses was asking for evidence, assurance. He needed continued confirmation of God’s promise and fulfillment.
March 6, 2019 at 3:13 pm
It seems that Moses was trying to ensure that his favor was still good with God (after all the Israelites had done worshiping the golden calf which was idolatry and God’s presence could not go up to them). When Moses realizes that his favor was still good (v17) he then uses all his favor with God for one daring request – he wanted to see more of God., the full person of God, undeniable evidence of who God is.
March 6, 2019 at 3:53 pm
Verses 13 and 15, Moses says, “if”, presenting his conditions for reassurance that God will do what He has promised. Though we have free will, I believe that God has moved Moses to desire Him even more, to be totally sold out for Him, yet allowing Moses to actively declare his choice to pursue and rely on God, by asking for God to show His presence as evidence of His support for him, and that he has indeed found favour in God.
March 6, 2019 at 9:18 pm
Your comments have been very helpful. I would add that Moses’ request to God reminds me of 1 John 4:19, which says “We love him, because he first loved us.” God had clearly displayed his affection for Moses when He told Moses that He knew him by name. Moses responds with a request that appears to demonstrate a desire to have a deeper relationship with God.
March 7, 2019 at 12:57 am
I have always wrestled with this verse. I could never understand why God did not allow Moses to see his glory. Moses needed to see God in all his majesty, as others have already said, the get reassurance. It took years to understand that in our frail bodies, we cannot comprehend God’s fullness, majesty and glory. May we yearn for just a smidgen of His glory so that we may rejoice in His splendour
March 7, 2019 at 2:09 am
All responses were interesting.
I can only add that if we ask we will receive?
March 7, 2019 at 2:12 am
I’m late replying, but I love the responses! Reading this, I wondered Moses fully grasped what he was asking for in requesting God to show His glory. Did he know that God’s glory in its barest form had the power to wipe Moses out, or that God’s glory is so overwhelming that God Himself would need to cover over Moses as He revealed (part) of Himself? That part of the passage really had me in awe. If Moses did know, then his request could be seen as crying out to know more of God no matter the cost.
March 7, 2019 at 12:36 pm
I agree. Such great responses! Thanks a lot!