Over the next several months, I will be blogging about this:
- God is MAJESTIC
- God is MESSIAH
- God wants to be MASTER
- God wants us to live on MISSION
In our last post, we looked at several passages of Scripture that illustrated the Majesty of God. Today we are going to look at a story where a man of God, Moses, encounters God in His Glory and Majesty. We will be focusing on Exodus 33 and 34, with some mention to Exodus 32.
Moses was chosen by God to rescue the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The book of Exodus chronicles Moses’ life and how he, with God’s miraculous help, led the children of Israel out of Egypt. We pick up the story in Exodus 32. In Exodus 32, the children of Israel have rebelled and are worshiping a golden calf. They crafted this calf for the express purpose of worshiping it over God.
Remember, we are talking about the Majesty and Glory of God today. Here the children of Israel demonstrate that they cannot possibly comprehend the Glory of God! Why? They make a false god, and they then bow down to that god. That is basically shaking your fist at God and daring him to respond.
The sad thing is this is what we are doing today. It is one thing that many who do not know God do this very thing. It is quite another when the people in Jesus’ church are doing this. Unfortunately, this is happening at a widespread rate. Idolatry is a significant problem in our nation today and in the church in our nation. This is especially true in the sexual sin arena, and this is very much true of Christian men. Too many Christian men are soft and passive when it comes to their own idolatry and the idolatry of their families. Many think that I overreact, and that the problem is not as bad as I think.
Let me relay to you a story my dad recently told me. He ran into an old friend, and the old friend asked him how his kids were doing. My dad told this friend about how things were going in my sister’s world, etc. Then he got to me. This friend of my father asked my dad what I did for a living. Dad told him that I meet with guys who struggle with sexual sin, primarily pornography, and that I go to churches and schools to speak out against the idol of sexual sin.
This friend, who happens to be in his 60’s, told my dad that what I was doing was great, but he added one thing. He said, “Make sure to tell your son that the problem is worse than he thinks it is.”
Let that sink in for a minute. If you follow this blog at all, you know that I beat the drum on how bad the problem is. For a guy in his 60’s to tell me that problem is worse than I thought blows my mind. The bottom line is this. We have lost our way big time! We need to get back to preaching about the Majesty and Glory of God and that we fall short of it. We need to be preaching about how the Gospel not only rescues us from God’s wrath called hell, but it empowers us to live a Godly life, a life that doesn’t bow down to idolatry.
The children of Israel lost sight of the Glory of God, and we have too. We must ask the Lord to help us see even a glimpse of what Moses saw in Exodus 33.
Sorry for the rant. Let me get back on track with Exodus. Many more things happen in Exodus 32 and 33, but eventually, Moses finds himself in a conversation with God about the children of Israel. If you want to read the whole account in Exodus 32-34, then click on the link below:
For the sake of the blog, we will pick it up in Exodus 33:18, where Moses makes a request of God. Check out that verse and the ones that follow:
Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And God 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 on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then 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.”
Moses wants to see the Glory of God, but God cannot show Moses this. If Moses sees it, he will die. This is not because God is mean, and it is not because God wants to get Moses. It is simply that God’s Glory is that powerful. Think of this like the sun. You and I can’t live on the planet, Mercury. Why? If we even tried to live on it, the heat of the sun would consume us. It is not because the sun is mean or wants to get us. It is simply that the sun is that powerful. The one who created the powerful sun is the same God of Exodus 33. This God is Glorious, and His Glory is powerful. If a man were to see the Glory of God, this Glory would consume them, and they would die.
God does let Moses see just a glimpse of His Glory though. As I read the text, it seems that Moses catches a glimpse of the back of God. Therefore, he catches a glimpse of God’s Glory.
Side note: God is so big that His hand alone encompasses all of Moses’ body. Wow!!!!! God is Big and Powerful and Glorious and Majestic!
Let’s fast forward to Exodus 34.
In this chapter, Moses has a powerful encounter with God on the heels of seeing a glimpse of His Glory. Read this chapter, and imagine how incredibly awesome it would be in that moment to be Moses!
Moses comes down from the mountain and his face is glowing. Why? His face is glowing because He had an encounter with God, and He saw a glimpse of His Glory. Wow! Wow! Wow! Amazing! The people were afraid of Moses because they knew He had been with God. They were so afraid that Moses had to put a veil covering on his face just to speak to the people. This is how powerful the glow was on Moses’ face.
Remember, all Moses saw was a glimpse of the back of God, and therefore, a glimpse of His Glory. This small encounter with God made Moses’ face so radiant that the people were afraid. Translation: God’s Glory is powerful!
And we fall short of it, and we need Him to rescue us. Praise God that He does. We fall short of the MAJESTIC God, and MESSIAH God comes and rescues us! Amen and Amen and Amen!!!
Thoughts for today:
When is the last time we gazed on the Majesty and Glory of God?
Does His Majesty and Glory lead us to worship Him and Him alone?
Nothing compares to Him. NOTHING! He alone is worthy of our worship. Would we stop shaking our fist at God as we bow down to idols! Would we repent of our sin! Would we worship the MAJESTIC, MESSIAH God!!!