Saturday, February 17, 2018
Read : Exodus 33:12-34:14
Thoughts from: Emily Bolthouse
The context for these verses is important: This event, where Moses is allowed to see the glory of God and becomes a vessel of God’s covenant with His people, takes place right after Moses has come down from Mt. Sinai and sees the Israelites worshiping the golden calf. Moses smashes the tablets of covenant law, grinds them into powder, and puts the powder into the drinking water. Suffice to say, this is a low point in Israel’s story. And it is only one of many times to come where they will fall away to idol worship before crying out to God.
Now here in chapter 33, verse 12, we see Moses’ relationship with God starkly contrasted with the scene above. Moses is known by God; he trusts that God is who He says He is, and that God will do what He says He will do. “Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory” (v. 18) “And the Lord said, ‘I will cause my goodness to pass in front of you…” (v. 19)
Moses’ request in the midst of this lowness, in the midst of this brokenness caused by sin, is most extraordinary. He asks God to reveal Himself (His glory, His goodness) more fully. This request humbles me to the core because I see in myself a tendency to react to difficulty more like the Israelites – a reaction of fear, of grumbling, of trying to control. Yet Moses’ prayer ought to be my prayer and your prayer.
And God indeed reveals His glory! He reveals it to Moses in the rock cleft. And through Moses, God reestablishes a covenant with His people. This covenant, the Law, will reveal the glory of God to the people of Israel, and through them, to the world. Perhaps the most significant way God will reveal His glory is through Jesus Christ, who Himself was the fulfillment of this covenant law.