Show Me Thy Glory

In Exodus chapter 33 Moses is having a conversation with God. The Lord is speaking to Moses face-to-face, as a man talks with his friend (Exodus 33:11). Moses first acknowledges God’s favor and blessing. He then asks that God’s presence go with the children of Israel as they travel to the promised land. He is requesting God’s favor and blessing to continue with them. When the Lord agrees, Moses asks to see the Glory of God. The Lord responds in verse 19,

“And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exodus 33:19)

Then God hides Moses in the cleft of the rock, and allows him to view His backside, because no man can see the face of God and live (Exodus 33:23). Wow! It seems Moses was truly a privileged man to have such a relationship with the Father. Did he realize what he was asking? Did he know that this pleased God’s heart because He wants relationship more than anything with His children? All the elders of Israel had rejected the presence of God. They pleaded with Moses to be an intermediary from the time God first began to converse with them on Mt. Sinai. Moses had to veil his face because of the residue of the presence of God could be seen on him — and the people couldn’t handle it. It appears that among the people, only Joshua had the desire to be close to the Lord and Moses (Exodus 33:11).

There is enough in these verses to preach a sermon, or write a book, but I want to focus on Moses’ personal request to see God’s glory. It is important to view his request in context. Moses is not proud or haughty that he gets to have such intimate conversations with God. No one else wanted to be this close to God, and the Lord knew this about Moses when He called Moses from the burning bush back in Exodus 3. God’s presence exposes every dark corner in our lives. Many of us would like to hide some things from everyone, including ourselves and God. Moses had laid himself bare before God, acknowledging his weaknesses and strengths. God in return began revealing Himself to Moses. Talking “face-to-face” means you listen, understand and can see from the other person’s perspective on many topics. Anyone can “see” miracles that appear before their eyes, like the Israelites saw the Red Sea part, but few see the miracles that abound in our lives daily. They are the key to seeing God’s glory.

For many years science has been exploring atoms. Though too small to see, they also reflect God’s glory. Scientists have broken down the atom into subatomic particles and continue to attempt to discover more at this level. In 2004, the Nobel Prize for Physics [1] was given for theoretical contributions making it possible to complete the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which is the model that describes the smallest objects in Nature and how they interact. Scientists have broken down the forces of nature into four basic forces. Physics uses the term “strong force” or “colour force” to describe the force which holds the atom together. This is just one of the four forces of nature which they have had so much difficulty in explaining. The Bible tells us that it is by Jesus, that all things “consist” (KJV) — or hold together. Red, blue and green quarks and their corresponding anti-red, anti-blue and anti-green anti-quarks in the nuclei of atoms are man’s attempt to explain the “force” holding atoms and the Universe together. We know that the Creator of the Universe, is also the Force which gives us the four known basic forces of Nature. His name is Jesus.

Think about this. We are often in awe that the Lord would care about the details of our lives. Yet He cares enough to have designed the Universe itself to reflect His glory at every level. The Bible tells us the heavens declare the glory of God. The more we explore space and do atomic research, the more it points to the Great Designer and Creator, Jesus. God’s signature can be found in every cell of our being, as well as the molecules that make up our world and the atoms that are the building blocks of the entire universe. We just don’t look from the perspective that allows us to see Him in it all.

Seeing God’s glory is all about our perspective. We all know people who are negative or too positive in their perspective in life. Both are difficult to be around very much. As an example, on the negative side, I have met people who have a perspective of looking for a demonic cause for every little adversity. Yet not all problems are caused by demons. Some are caused by the flesh and some are simply caused by living in the world. On the other extreme, few of us haven’t met someone whose bubbly conversations concerning their pets, the weather or even a relative’s funeral — make us wonder if they are on drugs or just out of touch with reality. We must keep a proper balance on Scripture and our perspective of God and the world we live in. If we hold to the Father’s perspective and really seek to have a “face-to-face” relationship with Him as Moses did, we will be positioning ourselves to see the Father’s glory and begin to see it and experience it in our lives. His glory is there — we haven’t positioned ourselves to see it revealed.

There are some good songs which are popular today about seeing God’s glory. Seeing God’s glory doesn’t mean seeing gold dust or a misty cloud, feathers or any other “manifestation”, although any of those may accompany His glory. Remember, our God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24). All the dross, all the selfishness, anything that is not valuable from a heavenly perspective may be vaporized in God’s presence. This means your house, your ministry, your retirement funds, even your family. Remember Job? His ten adult children died in one day. He lost everything, including his health. Yet he was in God’s will and God’s plan for bringing ultimate blessings and glory. That was the Lord’s intent all along. Hmmm… What are we willing to turn over to God? What price are we willing to pay to see His glory? ALL, is the only correct answer. We need to spend time in His presence and in His Word, to develop a relationship and perspective where we begin to see His glory in all the earth as well as reflect His glory in our own lives.

Ruth and her husband Duane are co-Founders of Horizon Ministries. On their website, they state a current need, which is prayer for Duane’s full recovery prior to their return to Israel in January of 2008. “In April and May, Duane suffered 2 strokes, brain swelling, and an aneurism which was operated on May 24, 2007. His strength and endurance continue to increase. Please pray for full recovery of Duane’s body and cognitive faculties and that our schedule will be according to God’s perfect plan.” Thank you for your prayers. Please send a message of encouragement to mail@horizonministries.org and visit their website at www.horizonministries.org.

[1] http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2004/public.html