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From the Pastor’s Desk

Pastor's Blog

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“Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’ And He said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name, “The LORD”. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,’ He said, ‘you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.’ And the LORD said, ‘Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.’"”

(Exodus 33:18-23 ESV)

     These are some of my favorite chapters in Scripture, Exodus 33-34, for in it we find God revealing His glory to Moses, and describing Himself in plain language to him. Also in this passage we find Moses, who knew God like perhaps no other purely human ever did, asking to know more about God, and for God to reveal His glory to him. The whole exchange is amazing, and especially as it comes on the heels of the whole “golden calf idol” event when Moses had been away on the mountain for 40 days and nights, and the people essentially gave up on him, and asked Aaron to make them a god to lead them.
     God’s wrath against this rebellion caused several interesting exchanges between Moses and God. God had even suggested that He wipe out the whole nation, and begin a new nation through Moses, (Pretty heady stuff, even for Moses). But Moses reminded God of the covenant He had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give to them this land flowing with milk and honey, and that to break that word would bring His character into question with nations like Egypt who were decimated in God’s move to lead Israel out of slavery to them. God also suggests that He will not go with them to the Promised Land (33:1-3), because if He did, He would consume them on the way because of their stiff-necked nature.
     Moses intercedes, and God relents of the disaster He rightly could have leveled against Israel. Moses goes so far as to say, if you’re not going with us, then just leave us here to die. How else will we be distinct from other nations if you do not go with us?
The LORD assures Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight.” It seems to me that God had this very thing in mind all along, but wanted Moses to come before Him and pray seeking God’s mercy and compassion for this group of people, the very thing God had in mind all along. I think this should instruct our praying, that God has good things in mind for His people, but He desires for us to seek Him out, that we should intercede for one another to cry out for the mercy and grace of God, the very thing that God wants to shower upon us.
     We learn to draw near to God through difficult times, sometimes through times of our own disobedience, but often are just a result of the fallen world in which we live. When we find ourselves in water over our head, we cry out for God to save us, the very thing He wanted to do for us anyhow, because of His great love for us.
     Here’s what God allowed Moses to experience as God made Himself known to him there on the mountain: “The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.’ And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped.” Ex. 34:6-9 ESV
     Of course Moses worshipped at that sight, what else could he do?

By His Grace Alone,

Pastor Bruce Jacobsen




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