Vol. 7, No. 3
Recycled *Editor's Note*
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[Christian Bible Teacher 46 (2002): 56.]
Whenever I read Exodus 33:18-23, I am filled with a sense of awe. Moses made a bold request of God when he said, "Please show me your glory." God answered, "Here is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock. So, it shall be, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. Then I will take away my hand and you shall see my back, but my face you shall not see."
What an awesome experience that must have been for Moses, as he stood in the cleft of the rock under the protective hand of God. Then came the climactic moment when God took his hand away, and Moses was able to see the glory of God! Sometimes I wish I could see the glory of God in the way Moses did.
God may never reveal himself to us in such a dramatic way, but he gives us small glimpses of his glory every day. Whenever we see a beautiful sunset or a brilliant rainbow, we are witnessing the glory of God. The Psalmist said, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1).
We also see God's glory when we come together as a church to worship him. Our times of worship should be a delight, not a duty. If we don't enjoy worship, how can we enjoy heaven, where we will be worshipping God for all eternity? [emphasis added] As we sing songs of praise, offer prayers, partake of the Lord's Supper, share in the grace of giving and learn from God's Word, we are experiencing a little bit of heaven on earth. Every week, we should joyfully anticipate our worship to God.
When Moses came down from his mountaintop experience with God, the people noticed that his face shone (Exodus 34:30). How do our faces look after we have been in the presence of God? [emphasis added] Of course, our faces won't be glowing like Rudolph's nose, but there should be a glow of happiness on our faces. Do we stay and enjoy the fellowship of other Christians, or do we rush off to the nearest Sunday buffet, elbowing our way to the front of the line to grab the last chicken wing? Do we encourage one another, or complain about the length of the sermon? Do we make an effort to welcome the visitors, or stay in our own comfortable cliques?
The apostle Paul said that we should be "children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15). Many people who visit our services for the first time are searching for something. Like Moses, they want to see God's glory. Let us always try to be shining lights, that they may see in our faces and our lives a glimpse of the glory of God. [emphasis added]