Summary: Notice: 1. The holy desire for God’s glory (vs. 18). 2. The helpful declaration with God’s glory (vs. 19). 3. The huge danger of God’s glory (vs. 20). 4. The Hand of defense from God’s glory (vs. 21-23).
Moses on the Mountain with the Lord
Part 18: Gazing at the Glory of God
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Oct. 27, 2010
*Moses was an absolutely amazing man of God. The more we study his life, the more we can be inspired by his character.
*Last week we were inspired by Moses’ passion for the presence of God. While Moses was on Mt. Sinai with the Lord, the people committed a horrible sin by worshipping a false god. Part of the heart-breaking consequence of their sin is found in Exodus 33:3, where God told Moses: “Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
*The people were losing the presence of God in a way that believers cannot on this side of the cross. Losing the presence of the Lord broke Moses’ heart, so he cried out to God in prayer, and the Lord graciously heard his prayer. And in vs. 14, God said: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
*How much did Moses want to be in the presence of the Lord? -- In vs. 15, Moses told God: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” In other words: “God, I would rather die here in this desert with you than live in the Promised Land without you!”
*Moses had great passion for the presence of the Lord, and God rewarded this passion. But Moses wanted even more. Moses wanted to gaze on the glory of God. Let’s think about gazing on God’s glory tonight, as we read Exodus 33:18-23.
18. And he said, "Please, show me Your glory."
19. Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
20. But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."
21. And the LORD said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.
22. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.
23. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."
*"Please, show me Your glory." -- There are 4 things to notice tonight about Moses’ request.
1. First: Notice the holy desire for God’s glory.
*Moses wanted to gaze on the glory of God, but what is the glory of God? -- We need to know, because God’s Word speaks of His glory 300 times!
*The first time we see God’s glory is in the Book of Exodus, and the last time we see His glory is in Rev 21:23, where the new city of Jerusalem was described. There the Bible tells us that: “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light.”
*Almost from cover to cover God speaks of His glory, but what is the glory of God? -- The Old Testament word picture for “glory” is a weight, something heavy. And God’s glory is heavy indeed. It is something that we should never take lightly.
*What is the glory of God? -- John Piper tells us that “Glory is a very hard thing to define. It is like the word ‘Beauty.’ We all can use it, but to try to reduce it to words is very frustrating. It is easier to point to examples.”
*Piper used the example of the 57-story I.D.S Center, which is the tallest building in Minneapolis, and he said: “A sunset seen from the top of the I.D.S. -- that’s glory. A perfectly executed 30-foot jump shot with one second to go, -- that’s glory, too.
*The glory of God (Piper says) is the beauty and excellence of His manifold perfections. It refers to His infinite and overflowing fullness of all that is good. . . God’s glory is the perfect harmony of all His attributes into one infinitely beautiful and personal being.” (1)
*Moses wanted to gaze on the glory of God. It was an audacious request. Some commentators even criticize Moses for making such a bold request. But notice that God didn’t criticize Moses for wanting to see more.
*In 2 Chronicles 7:14, when God gave Solomon the keys to revival, one of the things the Lord tells us to do is “seek my face.” God wants us to seek more and more of Him, because we can never get to the end.