Exodus 33

Exodus 33 has Moses talking with God.  The people have sinned by building an idol – the golden calf – and God is not pleased.  God tells Moses to get up and lead the people “to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”  God is still unhappy.  He isn’t going along but sending an angel to clear the way.  Moses lets the people know their action has caused God to say away because thay are a stiff necked people.  They have not been obedient.  And the people mourn.

Moses was in the habit of meeting with God in the Tent of Meeting which was set up outside the camp.  “When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses”.  He was close with God.  And the people knew it.  They would stand in the opening of their tents as Moses walked through the city and out to the tent of meeting.  “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”.  There was no doubt that Moses was connected directly to God.

Moses sought God’s promise of protection and guidance for the journey ahead.  He wants to know that God will be there.  “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”.  God gives Moses that promise, but not in the way Moses wanted.  But Moses was clear that unless God was leading and providing the way, he wasn’t moving.  Moses knew they would never make it on their own.  He insists that God be along.  And God agrees.  But Moses wants more.

Moses asks God to “please show me your glory”.  That is a pretty big request.  Moses wants to see God up close and personal – not just Him – but all His glory.  And God agrees, at least for the most part.  “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’….while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock….and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen”.  Moses couldn’t see God’s face as that would cause immediate death.  But God gives Moses this demonstration of His glory and allows Him to see His back.

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