Attitudes and Actions
Dear Lord, there is absolutely nothing in my life that can take Your place. Open my eyes to see Your glory.
Read Exodus 33:12-23
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Moses reveals he still needs reassurance of God’s presence as he attempts to lead the people to the Promised Land (12,13). Such feelings can appear even in those closely in touch with God (Jer. 15:15-21; Luke 7:18-23). We need the reminder that God’s presence goes with us as it did with Moses.
Moses, like only a few others in Scripture, is said to “have found favor” with God (12; 1 Sam. 2:26). Note the intimate conversation that follows. As with any deep friendship, God and Moses probe each others’ thoughts, express their concerns and reveal their inner characters. Moses wants assurance that God is still with the Israelites, that he will still guide and lead them and that the people will know God’s favor. He wants for himself a deeper understanding of who God is and how to receive more of God’s blessing. Moses’ increasing boldness leads him to ask more and more from God, leading to the request of a complete unveiling of the mysterious, supernatural and previously invisible reality of being.
For Moses, after the darkness of Israel’s sin comes the promise of such a complete revelation of God’s being, character and presence that he will need protection from God himself to experience it. Moments of spiritual renewal often come at times of trial, and even after failure. Here, not only are Moses’ calling, leadership and commission reaffirmed, but we are given a wonderful understanding of the very nature of God. This is the God who not only acts in time and human history to save his people, but who also gives us personal knowledge of his purity, holiness, love and forgiveness.
Where do we need encouragement today, both for our own lives and for the churches and nations in which we belong? In Western post-Christian societies, the challenges are clear. In the rapidly growing churches of the global south, other needs emerge. Wherever we are in our own spiritual lives, and however long we have been believers, we long for deeper knowledge of God. Can we make any other request than that of Moses, “Now show me your glory” (18)?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart today, / Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray” (James Orr, 1912-1987). Spend a few moments meditating on these lyrics, listening for God’s reassurance.
Heavenly Father, help me to know myself, in my inner character and in my outer relationships, and, most of all, more of You, my Lord and God–show me more today.