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)
The Hebrew word that is often translated as glory in the Old Testament is kabod (pronounced kavod). Literally, it means “heavy”, but it carries several other connotations, including importance, greatness, reputation, splendor, power and presence. Here are just a few examples where kabod is used:
- God’s Glory on Mount Sinai – Exodus 24: 15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.
- Human beings crowned with glory – Psalm 28: 4what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.
- The earth is full of God’s glory – Isaiah 6: 1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Please read the passage above (same as yesterday) and answer the questions below.
- What do you find interesting about God’s response to Moses’ request for God to show him His glory?
- What do you believe is the significance of God’s promise to put Moses in the cleft of the rock until his glory passes by?
March 7, 2019 at 9:09 am
God agrees to Moses’ request because of his love, compassion and mercy. However, He reminds him of his Glory. Although man has caused this separation from God, God still wants to be with man.
March 7, 2019 at 11:15 am
Right now we see the glory of God through all that He has made and all that He has done and continue to do in our lives. He declares that it is He the Lord who does it and not we ourselves.
God uses life situations that seem impossible to fix, unlikely to work out, when the odds are against us to show up so He receives maximum glory through it.
We see the glory of God in work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus death certainly covers the cost fully for our sin. Just as God instructed Moses to stand on that rock near me and I will hide you in it and I WILL COVER YOU, so Christ is our rock on which we stand (come near to God) and God covers us in His righteousness to be able to stand or be in His presence.
One day we will see Him face to face in all His glory when we ourselves have been glorified with Him. But for now I will find rest for my soul in Jesus Christ – in the cleft of the Rock.
March 7, 2019 at 11:30 am
God starts to declare some of His attributes to Moses as though he is saying to him that His glory has to do with His goodness, compassion, mercy, sovereignty etc… God wanted to ensure Moses’ safety and to let him know that He could protect him.
March 7, 2019 at 11:48 am
God always answers our request if we asked, but on his way. He does not want us get into trouble by seeing His face.
March 7, 2019 at 11:58 am
I find it interesting that Moses would ask to see God’s glory after all he had seen God already done. I also find it interesting that God didn’t say no. God said He would do it because He was please and knew Moses’ name. That was enough of a reason to act to strengthen His servant.
God was making accommodations to respond to Moses but not hurt him in the process. It shows that at times we ask God for things without understanding the full impact of His yes response to us.
Lord, I have boldly asked for things and You have graciously responded in a way that met my needs and kept me from the full effect/consequence/outcome of getting all I asked for. Thank You!
March 7, 2019 at 12:57 pm
It was interesting that in addition to showing Moses His goodness, God said that he would proclaim His name to Moses. This makes God very personal, having a name, not just a ‘ good entity’.
The significance to put Moses in the cleft of the rock seems to be that God promises to always protect him. Also, that nothing man-made can truly protect him.
March 7, 2019 at 2:05 pm
In this specific part of God’s response to Moses , God is fair and just. “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” To me it shows God’s sovereignity over all creation. It shows how powerful and all-knowing God He is. I also admire Moses’ faith and obedience to the Lord. God always wants his children to know and trust him no matter how difficult or challeging their situation can be.
March 7, 2019 at 3:24 pm
* I find it interesting to note that God understood where Moses was coming from. Moses needed the repeated assurance not because he did not trust God or anything of the sort but earlier on in the text, God had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you.”
As a human, Moses was -dare i say- ‘Double-checking’. God was like, Moses, i know what i have said and i know why you are going about it this way and am going to do all you ask just so you know i got your back. Which is why in response to “Now show me your Glory” God was like, ‘I’ll do you one better, “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.”
Significantly, God knows each and every one of his creation and he knows just how to handle every single situation, challenge and what-not that arises in our individual lives.
March 7, 2019 at 7:56 pm
God’s “fuller” answer is in Exodus 34, the next chapter where we see His great great compassion and also His holiness and sovereignty. He is not to be trifled with and as such even Moses had to be protected. His glory seems to be made up of these things. And now we do have access to Him, protected by the righteousness of Jesus.
March 7, 2019 at 8:19 pm
Each year I look forward to this form of sharing where excellent comments are a source of encouragement. So many powerful things have been said and some of you are even already answering questions from tomorrow’s study. As I read some of the comments, I couldn’t help but think about the old hymn, “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock.” God truly does know how to provide us with what we need.
March 8, 2019 at 1:35 am
I can’t help but learn from all these great comments.
I find it so reassuring that Moses had a good rapport with God and this as someone said makes it personal and shows as that we too can aspire to same.