Greetings in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)
There are moments in life that stop us in our tracks, moments where the weight of the world feels too heavy, and we find ourselves seeking something greater than ourselves. These moments, as piercing as they might seem, can be turning points. They can be moments that draw us closer to the Divine. How often, in the throes of life’s tempests, have we felt an almost magnetic pull towards the Divine? A longing to be held, understood, and enveloped by a power greater than any storm we face. This isn’t mere escapism; it’s a soul’s yearning, an intrinsic desire to witness the Creator’s majesty in its fullest form.
Every whisper of a prayer, every tear shed in solitude, and every heartache is a testament to the deep-rooted desire we all carry: to be close to God, to delve deeper into His mysteries, and to be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of His presence. This isn’t just a feeling; it’s a spiritual imprint woven into the very fabric of our beings. As we gather here today, let us delve deep into the annals of history and walk alongside Moses—a beacon of this profound yearning. Together, we will relive his impassioned plea to witness God’s glory and understand how this timeless moment reflects the desires and aspirations each one of us harbors to truly know our Heavenly Father.
Moses – A Portrait of Yearning
The rich tapestry of Moses’ life offers a captivating panorama of faith, leadership, and divine encounters. From his miraculous salvation from the Nile to his confrontations with Pharaoh, from the parting of the Red Sea to the receiving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, Moses’ journey was punctuated with moments that displayed God’s unmatched power and providence. And yet, nestled in the annals of Exodus 33:18-23 is an encounter that stands distinct in its profound intimacy and depth.
“Please show me Your glory,” Moses implored (Exodus 33:18). At first glance, this plea might seem surprising. After all, this was Moses—the man who spoke to God as one speaks to a friend, the leader who witnessed the plagues that God rained upon Egypt, the shepherd who saw the Red Sea part and manna descend from the heavens. Why then did he seek yet another manifestation? What more could Moses possibly want to see?
This moment, however, wasn’t about seeking another miracle or sign. This was a heart laid bare, vulnerable in its deepest yearning. Moses’ journey with God had awakened in him an insatiable hunger—a hunger not just for the acts of God, but for His very essence. He had tasted and seen that the Lord was good, and now he wanted more than just glimpses; he longed for the full panorama of God’s glory.
Such audacity might have been seen as prideful or presumptuous in any other context. But here, it was different. Moses’ request was rooted not in pride but in profound love and reverence. This wasn’t the casual curiosity of an onlooker but the passionate plea of a lover. He yearned to see, to know, to grasp the ineffable mystery of the Divine—a yearning only those deeply in love with God can truly understand.
His request gives us a glimpse into the depth of relationship Moses shared with God. Many of us have relationships characterized by routine exchanges and surface-level conversations. But Moses sought more. He wasn’t content with just the routine, the familiar, or the rehearsed. The miracles, as awe-inspiring as they were, were merely the outer courtyards of his experience with God. Moses desired to enter the inner sanctum, to truly know the heart of his Master.
In an era where superficiality often reigns, Moses stands as a beacon of depth and authenticity. His plea is a timeless reminder that our relationship with God isn’t meant to be transactional or based merely on seeking blessings and miracles. At its core, it’s about seeking the Giver more than the gift, about longing to know the heart of God intimately and personally.
In Moses, we see mirrored our own heart’s deepest cries, our desires for genuine connection, our yearnings to go beyond the superficial and the seen. Through his words, we are reminded that true fulfillment doesn’t come from merely witnessing God’s deeds but from an earnest pursuit of His heart.
God’s Response – A Balance of Revelation and Protection
In the tapestry of biblical narratives, few moments capture the interplay of God’s majesty and mercy as vividly as His response to Moses in Exodus 33. When Moses voices his profound desire to witness God’s glory, God’s answer is enveloped in tenderness and transcendence. He asserts, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Exodus 33:20). This assertion, while emphasizing His unmatched holiness, simultaneously reveals His affectionate concern for Moses. The inherent brightness and sanctity of God’s presence is such that it surpasses human endurance.
However, instead of leaving Moses with just a limitation, God, in His abundant grace, offers a solution. The promise that follows, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock… I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by” (Exodus 33:21-22), epitomizes God’s dual role: the one who discloses His magnificence, and the one who safeguards from its potentially overwhelming magnitude.
Jesus Christ, in the New Testament, bridges this paradox of revelation and protection. Jesus declared, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Through Christ’s incarnation, God made Himself accessible, knowable, and relatable. In Christ, God’s glory was made manifest in a manner humans could not just behold but interact with, touch, and follow.
The idea of Moses being shielded in the cleft of a rock resonates deeply with the security we find in Jesus Christ. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, encapsulates this when he writes, “For I am sure that neither death nor life… nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Just as Moses was protected by God’s hand, we, too, are enveloped in the unfailing love of Jesus, ensuring our safety even as we draw closer to the divine.
Moreover, this narrative also imparts a profound lesson about the nature of spiritual quests. As we seek greater revelations of God, it’s crucial to recognize that God’s self-disclosures are always accompanied by His protective measures. He knows our frames, our strengths, and our vulnerabilities. He unveils Himself in doses we can absorb, understand, and cherish.
This divine dance of intimacy and protection is not a mere Old Testament phenomenon. It’s a timeless reality, reminding us that in every era, God continues to yearn for a relationship with us. He invites us into deeper experiences of His presence, always ensuring that in our quest for the infinite, we remain anchored and safeguarded.
To truly understand God’s glory is to recognize this balance: a God who is both immeasurable in His majesty and immeasurably caring in His love. As we delve deeper into our relationship with Him, may we always appreciate His dual role as the revealer of wonders and the protector of our souls.
Our Innate Desire for Deeper Revelations
In the annals of spiritual pursuits, a profound resonance echoes across time and culture: the relentless thirst to experience the divine. The tale of Moses, standing at the precipice of divinity, yearning to glimpse God’s glory, encapsulates this universal desire. Every believer, whether consciously or subconsciously, embodies a similar aspiration. It’s an innate craving, a magnetic pull towards the Creator. But whence does this deep-seated yearning originate?
At the genesis of creation, humanity was birthed in the very image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). This divine imprint, though marred by sin and estrangement, left an indelible mark on the human spirit. Our souls, no matter how tarnished by life’s experiences, still harbor a memory of this original connection. The Psalmist captured this sentiment with poignant beauty, declaring, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1). This is not just poetic expression; it is the reality of a soul recognizing its source and longing for reunion.
The New Testament reiterates this longing, placing Jesus Christ at the center of our quest. In the Gospel of John, Jesus proclaims, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). Christ presents Himself as the answer to our spiritual hunger and thirst, the ultimate revelation that satisfies our deepest yearnings.
However, as with Moses’ experience, our approach to these deeper revelations must be steeped in understanding and reverence. The holiness of God is not a mere theological concept; it is an intrinsic aspect of His character. Encounters with the divine demand preparation, humility, and a genuine heart. It is not a realm for the casual or the indifferent. As Hebrews 12:14 admonishes, “Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord”.
Furthermore, the Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Ephesians, emphasizes the necessity of enlightenment to truly comprehend the depths of God’s nature. He prays that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” (Ephesians 1:18). This suggests that our longing for revelation requires not just desire but discernment, granted by the Holy Spirit.
In conclusion, the narrative of Moses and the burning bush, the mountaintop experiences, and the cleft of the rock serve as symbolic mirrors to our spiritual journey. These are not mere stories of an ancient prophet; they encapsulate the journey of every soul in its pilgrimage towards God. As believers, may we continually nurture this inherent desire for deeper revelations, approaching our Creator with the reverence He deserves and the earnestness He honors. In doing so, we align ourselves with a legacy of faith that spans generations, a legacy that seeks, finds, and cherishes the glory of God.
Summary and Life Application:
Moses’ profound plea encapsulates a universal truth spanning generations: our intrinsic desire to draw nearer to God, to experience the luminosity of His glory, and to fathom the depths of His essence. As we reflect upon Moses’ encounter and the echoing yearnings of believers across the ages, the message becomes increasingly clear: God, in His boundless love, is ever willing to reveal Himself to those who truly seek Him. However, this is not merely about seeking an experience; it’s about seeking a relationship.
The narrative beckons us to look beyond the tangible and transient, urging our hearts to crave the eternal and divine. It’s an invitation not just to observe God from the peripheries but to plunge into the very heart of His presence. It’s a clarion call to transition from being mere spectators to becoming ardent seekers of His glory.
- 1. Seek Intimacy with God: In an era rife with distractions, carve out sacred spaces in your daily routine to commune with God. Whether it’s through prayer, meditation on scripture, or worship, nurture these moments of intimacy. Let them not be driven by ritual but by a genuine thirst to connect with the Creator. As James 4:8 (NIV) promises, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
- Reverence in His Presence: While God invites us into a relationship marked by closeness and affection, it’s crucial to maintain a posture of reverence. The Creator of the universe, in all His grandeur, deserves our utmost respect. Embrace the words of Psalm 96:9 (NIV), “Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.”
- Yearn for More: Spiritual complacency can be the bane of our relationship with God. Let not past experiences or revelations limit your pursuit. Just as Moses, after witnessing countless miracles, still yearned for more, let your heart continuously echo, “Show me Your glory.” Matthew 5:6 (NIV) offers a blessed assurance, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
- Embrace the Dance of Revelation and Protection: As God unveils more of Himself to you, remember that He does so while ensuring your well-being. Trust in His wisdom and timing, and know that as you draw closer to His glory, He will simultaneously shield you within His protective embrace.
In conclusion, our spiritual journey should be characterized by a relentless quest for God’s glory. As we ardently seek Him, we will discover that the Almighty not only reveals His magnificence but also envelopes us in His love and protection. May our lives be a testament to this divine dance, and may our souls, much like Moses, continuously yearn for deeper revelations of our Heavenly Father.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)