“Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory’” (Ex. 33:18, ESV).
I have been coming back to this passage repeatedly for weeks now. Something about it is speaking deeply to my heart. I believe Holy Spirit wants to speak profoundly to your spirit through it today too.
Moses had already been singled out for friendship with God, at this point in his life’s journey. Just a few verses earlier in this chapter, we read about their intimate communication: “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, the way a person speaks to a friend” (v. 11, NET). We know from the story that this happened regularly. Can it get more amazing than recurrent face to face encounters with the living God?
Apparently, yes it can. Moses wasn’t satisfied. Seven verses after this incredible description of his frequent tête-à-têtes with the I AM, is where we find him asking for more. More of God. He had tasted of God’s presence more than any other human alive at the time, and yet he was longing for more.
“Please show me your glory!” his heart cried out ardently. God liked that yearning. He answered Moses by giving him an even deeper draught of His manifest presence. Here is His magnificent response:
“‘I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will proclaim the Lord by name before you…’ But he added, ‘You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.’ The Lord said, ‘Here is a place by me; you will station yourself on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face must not be seen…’” (vv. 19-23, NET).
Again, I am fascinated, fixated on these words. Verse 11 says they would habitually speak face to face. Why, then is He now asserting that Moses wouldn’t be able to see His face and live? I believe this chapter is revealing to us the principle of degree, when it comes to encountering the presence of God. Moses had come into contact with a degree of His revealed presence, an astonishingly powerful degree at that. However, it was still limited compared to what was available of God. What was available was so astonishing it was going to cause his face to shine brilliantly. The radiance coming off him would be so resplendent that no one could bear to look at him!
And that is where His word to you today comes in. You have encountered God to a degree too. But what you have experienced, what you have tasted, what you have known, is so small compared to all that He wants to reveal to you of Himself!
Can you imagine what it must have felt like for God’s own hand to lift Moses’ body up and move it into the cleft of the rock? For him to look up and see the lines of God’s actual palm covering over the opening as He passed by? Beloved, there is so much more of Himself that God longs to show you!!
Now don’t go disqualifying yourself, thinking that such things were only for legendary men of the Bible. Look at this:
“Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory… will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?” (2 Cor. 3:7-8, ESV).
Do you believe what this passage is telling you? Do you realize that you have the ministry of the Spirit? The Spirit of the Lord dwells in your body. He is one with you. The sacred covenant you walk in with Him comes with even more glory than what Moses himself experienced!
I’ll say it again. There is SO MUCH MORE of Him available to you!!!
Are you thirsty for God? Are you dissatisfied with how little you have tasted of Him so far? Do you yearn for more of Him? Just begin to cry out, “Please show me Your glory!” You belong to a God who responds passionately to that very cry!