Exodus 33: 12-23….Moses meets with God. He is concerned that God has said His presence will not go with the rebellious people and Moses asks who will go with Him then? He asks God to better know Him and His ways in order to lead the people the right way. Maybe then God’s grace and favor can be gained again for His continued presence. Moses also reminds God that they are His nation. And if God’s presence is not with them, how can they be distinguished and set apart from any other people? God speaks that His presence will go with them and He will keep His covenant to take them to the Promised Land.
We should have the heart of Moses. The Amplified Bible says, “let me know Your ways, that I might know You (becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, recognizing and understanding Your ways more clearly) and that I might find grace and favor in Your sight.”
Ephesians and Colossians say the same thing! I strongly encourage you to read Ephesians 1: 17-19 and Colossians 1: 9-10. This should be our purpose in life!
Exodus 33:17 is so precious. The Lord expresses His lovingkindness, grace, and favor to His beloved. He personally knows HIs own by name. He will do what we ask when it is focused on following Him and we desire to know Him more in our hearts and minds.
Moses seeks the face of God. There are so many times in the Bible that we are encouraged to seek the face of God, to seek to know Him more. Often, people seek His hand for help in trouble or need, but we should first seek His face. A parent has so much more pleasure when their child just wants to be with them to know them more intimately and wants to be like the parent, rather than only coming when they need something. A parent is happy to help, but such joy is in just showing the love of fellowship!
Moses is moved to want to see God in His glory. God tells Moses that He gives grace and compassion to whoever He will. He will let His goodness pass before Moses, to be viewed from behind. Moses cannot see God’s face and live. In John 3:16, we learn that God has chosen to give grace and compassion to “whoever” believes in Yeshua Jesus and follows Him. Those who follow Jesus will see God’s goodness. In this life in the sinful flesh, we cannot come into the holiness of God face to face, but we can see God like Moses did. We can see God by standing on the Rock who is Jesus, and getting into the cleft (center) of the Rock, and He will protect us! (Matthew 7: 24-27)
Moses sees God only from behind. I can think of two messages here. First, Moses lives in the age of man before Jesus….it is the history behind Jesus first coming to earth…the time before the cross where atonement for sin was finished. Today, in the New Covenant, we can be cleansed and purified in Jesus, the Rock, so we can enter into the presence of God and not die!
The second message is that sinners in the world, even in their unrighteousness, can see the effects of God when He passes by…His goodness, righteousness, lovingkindness, grace, compassion, and protection for His people. It can draw them to desiring a relationship with Him as well! ONLY through Jesus can we dare come into the presence of a holy God and see Him face to face. So many thanks to Jesus, who finished the covenant to purchase us back to the Father, forgive our sins, and bring goodness back into our lives!
The Lord tells Moses to stand beside Him on the Rock, in the cleft of the Rock, and God’s hand will protect him from above. That is where God is encouraging me to stay today too! It is the best place to be!