Show me your glory!
Moses had spent 40 years as a shepherd when God called him to lead His people out of Egypt. Shepherds have always held a special place in the Bible. David, “a man after God’s heart”, was once a shepherd. It was shepherds on the night the baby Jesus was born that a host of angels appeared to and Jesus is often referred to as the Good Shepherd. Shepherding is a quiet, lonely profession where there is plenty of time to listen for God’s voice.
It wasn’t easy getting the Israelites away from Egypt, but it was harder still living with them in the desert! Moses was in charge of at least 2 million people. People, who just like us, one day are good and one day disappoint God. Moses constantly intervened with God for the people. In fact in some conversations with God when both were disgusted with them, God would refer to them as “YOUR people” and Moses would come back with, “but, YOUR people….” Neither wanted to claim them!
For as much time as Moses spent talking with the Lord, and the Bible says in Exodus 33:11 that the Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a friend, Moses yearned to know God better. He wanted God’s total guidance in dealing with these people and in doing God’s will. At one point when God threatened to take His presence away from what He called “these stiff-necked people” Moses said, “If thy presence will not go with me; do not carry us up from here.” (Exodus 33:15) Moses wasn’t willing to make a move without God. Moses related God’s presence with His favor when he asked, if God didn’t go with them, how would they know they had found favor in His sight?
Today, Christians don’t go anywhere without God. We have His Holy Spirit inside each of us. The Holy Spirit is evidence of God’s favor with us, but we need to listen for His guidance and obey Him.
Moses also asked God to let him know Him better. At this point Moses probably knew God better then any other living man. But, it wasn’t enough for Moses. To know God, really know Him, means to be changed by that knowledge. And once a person is saved they will act differently. They will show God’s love, reflect His light, spend time with God and worship Him with great joy. And finally, Moses wanted God to show him His glory. God chose to do this by showing Moses His goodness and His character, revealed by His name. He told Moses He was “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished. He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:5-7) God shows us these attributes of Himself because we are called to have them too. Christians are to have goodness, mercy, compassion, grace, love, faithfulness and be slow to anger.
God gives Christians His presence in the Holy Spirit and His knowledge in His Word, the Bible. These show us God’s glory; which we are called to reflect to the World.
“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3