Glory of God
Relationship between God and Moses, and God and Me
Exodus 33:1-6 & 12-23
And the Lord said unto Moses,
Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought
up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac,
and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:
Note: In this verse, we can clearly see, that God
is no longer considering Himself to be the Savior, or the God of Israel. He is instructing Moses to take the Children
of Israel, the people who continuously reject God, into the Promised Land. He tells Moses of this drastic change by
stating to him, “…. the people which thou (Moses) hast brought up out of the land of Egypt. This language is far different from that
which God used when speaking to the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai… Exodus 19:3-4 3 And Moses went up unto God, and
the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus
shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the
Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Here we see that God’s tone and words are different toward
the Children of Israel. Here He states, “….
Ye have seen what I did…, and how I bare you on eagles wings..” God clearly and rightfully takes the credit
for saving the children of Israel.
Here is the difference between the two verses. In the first, God uses the word “Ye” when referring
to the children of Israel. In Chapter33,
God uses the phrase “the people”. Although
a small change in words, it is a huge change in status. In Old English grammar, “Ye” is a form of the
word you, that applies only to people in a close, personal relationship. When God uses the word “ye” for the children
of Israel, he is essentially claiming them as His own. Second, notice the difference in how He again
refers to the children of Israel, at Mount Sinai, Jehovah calls them “the house
of Jacob” and the “children of Israel”, these names are synonymous with being
called the children of God, since a covenant exists between the house of Jacob,
and the children of Israel. In chapter
33, God is tired of the back sliding of Israel, and he refers to them as “the
people”. In addition, when referring to
the patriarchs, he no longer uses their names in conjunction with “the people”. Lastly, he still has Moses under His grace as
is evidence by God’s use of the word “Thou”.
Thou again is an Old English term for you, used only when people are in
personal, loving relationships.
Therefore, God loves Moses and shows it to him by creating a new
covenant with him, that does not include the children of Israel.
Therefore, in this text, the children of Israel, here referred as
the people, are rejecting God as their Deliverer. Later in the days of the Judges, the people
reject Jehovah as their King. 1 Samuel 8:7 – And the Lord said unto Samuel,
Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they
have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over
them. United States today.
2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will
drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the
Hivite, and the Jebusite:
Note: Here God continues to recite the promise
given at Mount Sinai, and states that He will send another, a Vicar in His
place, to drive out the enemies of the people.
He is changing the terms of the Covenant where God Himself will go and
fight for the people.
3 Unto a land flowing with milk
and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a
stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.
Note: God, in His mercy, states the reason that He
will not go up before the Children of Israel, because of their rejection of
God, he would have to destroy them, due to their persistent rejections.
4 And when the people heard
these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.
Note: When Moses informed the people that God would
not be amongst them, but that he would send a vicar, they mourned for the
consequences of their actions. Remember,
at Mount Sinai the people had asked for Moses to be their Vicar, and it caused
them to wander the desert for forty years.
In an act of humility and repentance, they took of their ornaments, the
things which made them proud. Therefore,
they removed their pride, so that they could truly repent before God.
5 For the Lord had said unto Moses,
Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up
into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy
ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.
Note: The Lord commands that the people remove
their arrogance, that which separated them from God. By removing the instruments that led to their
stiff necks, they were able to be truly penitent, and obtain forgiveness. Therefore, God was able to restore them.
12 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me,
Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with
me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in
Note: Moses complains to God, you have given me an order
to move these people into the promise land, but you have not told me who you
are sending to go with us, even when you
have told me (Moses) that I am a friend to God (know thee by name), and that you
have given me grace, because we are friends.
At this time, God is preparing the path to bring “the people” into the
promise land, just as He promised.
Unfortunately, although Moses has grace in the eyes of God, the children
o Israel do not.. John 15:14-15 – 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth
I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I
have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have
made known unto you.
find Moses being very bold with God, because they were friends, much like
Abraham, when he negotiated with God over the destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah. This is the type of relationship
that God wants with His people, and it is the reason that He created
13 Now therefore, I pray thee,
if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I
may know thee (God), that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this
nation is thy people.
Note: Here Moses, one who God declared to by a
friend, wants to be a friend to God. Moses
asks of God, if we are friends (found grace in thy sight), Show me your ways or
Character, that we may be better friends, and that friendship will lead God to consider
“the people” to be restored as a nation, and return being God’s people.
find that Moses wants an even deeper relationship with God. He wants to know God’s way so that he can
understand and relate to Him. Moses
then boldly asks of God, as a friend, to restore Israel as His people. Moses goes boldly before God, just
we, His children can. Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain
mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Exodus 25:22 – And
there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy
seat, from between the two Cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony,
of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of
14 And he said, My presence
shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Note: God, in his love and marvel, declares and
restores the Children of Israel as His people, when He states that He, not an
angel, will go with them. Ezekiel 37:27 – My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I
will be their God, and they shall be my people. Additionally, He reinforces this
promise, by promising to give them Shabbat, Sabbath, rest. Ezekiel 20:12 –
Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and
them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify
15 And he said unto him, If thy
presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
Note: Here Moses states to God, we will not accept
another, no Vicar. Either Christ goes
before us, or we do not enter the promise land. Exodus
20:3 – Thou
shalt have no other gods before me. Here Moses shows a
commitment to God.
16 For wherein shall it be known
here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it
not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people,
from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
Note: Here as his relationship with God grows, Moses
becomes bolder with God, reminding God, how will the world know that we (Moses
& Children of Israel) have found grace in your sight, and that we are your
people, unless you go before us? How
will the world see us as special, in your eyes, unless you are with us. Moses keeps including the children of Israel
in his statements, for them to be restored.
19:5-6 – 5 Now
therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall
be a peculiar treasure unto me
above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
17 And the Lord said
unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast
found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
God confirms to Moses, the special friendship that now exists between
Him and his creation. God informs Moses
that because He loves His friend, he will, in love to His friend, do that which
his friend asks. John 14:12-14 – 12 Verily,
verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he
do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And
whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. 14 If
ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
Note: Now Moses is no longer afraid. He is content that he has received from God
what he initially requested, the restoration of Israel. Now he starts to focus on his second request,
to know God. Before Moses knew of God,
now he knows God, and has been befriended by God. Now Moses asks an extremely bold request, one
which only a friend can ask. Shew me thy glory. This request, risks life itself. Moses wants so desperately to know God, that
he is willing to risk his life.
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.
Note: God is going to show Moses, the essences of
God, His Glory. Moses will see all that
is good, he will even learn the actual name of God. He will be on a first name basis with the
Almighty. We too can have this
privilege. Revelations 22:3-4 –
there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in
it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And
they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
20 And he said, Thou canst not
see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Note: Mortal man cannot be in the true presence of
God. If imperfection (mortality) is in
the presence of perfection (immortality), imperfection ceases to exist. When mortal man finds himself in God’s
presence, God has covered His true essence with some form of matter, to protect
His child. There have been many examples of God taking on matter so that He can
be with His children, Moses and the burning bush, children of Israel and a
pillar of fire by night, and a cloud by day, Melkezidik as he anoints Abraham,
Jesus Christ as he lives with us as Emanual. 2 Samuel 6:7 – And the anger of the
LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error;
and there he died by the ark of God.
21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is
a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
Note: God used His creation to shield Moses from
death. He used the “rock” to put a
barrier between Him and Moses, so that Moses could experience that which he
requested, and live. God uses another
“Rock”, the “Rock of Ages” to protect his children from the death of sin. For man to see God in His glory, is for mortal
man to experience death. Christ’s
righteousness shields us from the consequences of our sins.
22 And it shall come to pass,
while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and
will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine
hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
Even though Moses has gone from being a servant of God, to being a
friend of God, he still is mortal man.
Therefore, Moses is not allowed to see the face of God and live. John 6:46 – Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of
God, he hath seen the Father. As we read in Revelations 22:4, one day we shall be able to gaze upon
the face of God the Father, thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ.
Just what did Moses see, when he
asked to see God’s Way and His Glory?
We find in Exodus 34 how God defined
“His ways”. God commands Moses to carve out two tables of
stone, and once again writes the Royal Law upon them. So, in order to know God, we have to emulate
his Character as defined by the Ten Commandments and Holy Statutes. Thee will be many who claim to be Christ’s
children, but the Sheppard will not recognize them as His sheep, because they
did not love Him, by keeping His commandments.
Mathew 7:23 – And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity
So what is God’s Glory?
To help illustrate the Glory of God,
we can search what is written in the “Spirit of Prophesy”. Sister White gives a beautiful interpretation
of this in the book “The Desire of Ages”.
In the beginning, God
was revealed in all the works of creation.
It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the
earth ….. It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song.
And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He (Christ) wrote the message of the Father’s love.
Note: When God created the
Universe, all that He had created was perfect.
This perfect creation was a perfect emulation of the Glory of God. Genesis 1:31 –
And God saw everything that he had made, and,
good (perfect). And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Psalms
18:30 – As for God, his
way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a
buckler to all those that trust in him.
Now sin has marred God’s perfect work, yet that handwriting
remains. Even now all created things declare
the glory of His excellence. Psalms 19:1 –
The heavens declare the Glory of God.
Note: Since sin has changed
God’s perfect creation, the imperfect creation can no longer represent that
which is perfect, in a perfect manner, but it can point to that which is
perfect. This is much like the Law of
God does not lead man to salvation, but rather to their Savior.
So why did God send Christ?
“The light of the knowledge of the glory of God” is seen
“in the face of Jesus Christ.” From the days of eternity, the Lord
Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was, is, and always shall be “the
image of God,” the image of His greatness and majesty, “the
outshining of His glory.” It was to manifest this glory that He came to
Note: Since imperfect
creation itself could not properly manifest the Glory of God to man, God sent
His Son, so that we once again could see the true perfect Glory of the
Father. Since Jesus is one with the
Father, or exactly as Him, He is the only true representation of the Father’s
character and glory. John 10:30 –
I and my Father are one. John 14:11 – Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father
in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
But turning from all lesser
representations (including nature-pagan), we behold God in Jesus.
Looking unto Jesus we see that it is the glory of our God to give.
Note: Throughout history,
man has attempted to define God. Often,
he has added or taken away so that his feeble mind could comprehend the
magnanimous nature of the Almighty. It
is this distortion of the truth that leads men away from God. We must adhere to the Holy Scriptures and the
Holy Spirit as the sole basis of our study, and incorporate the writings of man
only when they agree entirely with the scriptures, otherwise we lead ourselves
and others to error. We must incorporate
God’s Law with His Glory and worship Him in Spirit and Truth. John
4:24 – God is a
Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
God’s glory is Agape, a selfless love, a giving love He harbors
for His creation, as represented in words on the Ten Commandments. Satan’s glory is Hedonism – a selfish love,
one that takes and gives back nothing.
Let us adopt the giving love of Christ.