Summary: To encourage the congregation to have the same kind of hunger and thirst for God that Moses had
For 12/5/04 pm service
Show Me Your Glory!
Primary Purpose: To encourage the congregation to have that same kind of hunger and thirst for more of God like Moses did.
Our passage begins at a very difficult time in the history of Israel. The Israelites have sinned a great sin by creating a golden calf. God has responded by saying in v.3 that he will not continue to go up with the people. That if he did go with the people that He would destroy them. This sending the people into mourning. In contrast to them, we see the intimate relationship that Moses had with the Lord. This is first described by
I. The Tent of Meeting v.7-11. This is not the tabernacle that Moses and the people would make that God had given them a pattern of. Rather it is a temporary sanctuary that Moses has set up. The tabernacle was to be with the people, while this tent is outside of the camp.
What made the tent special was the presence of God. God displayed his glory through the cloud v.10. It says that the Lord use to speak with Moses face to face to indicate the personal nature of God’s revelation. He didn’t speak through visions, dreams or prophets.
God had originally intended to make the entire nation a nation of priests like Moses. You see the Lord desire in what He said in Ex 19:5-6 “you will be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” But, it was their choice not to have God speak to them directly, for they were afraid of God Ex 20:19. So, as a result of this and their disobedience they worshipped from a distance. Ex 33:10
II. The Intercession of Moses- v.12-18 Here we see Moses expressed his hearts desire. He is also reacting to what the Lord has declared in v.3 that He would not go with them. This prayer reflects the will of Moses for himself and the people.
1. He prays to know the Lord and His ways. The Lord’s ways are very different from our ways. In Isaiah 55:8-9 it says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord, “For as the heavens are higher than the eart, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” So, the first part of Moses prayer is v.13 “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found favor in Thy sight, let me know Thy ways, that I may know Thee. . . .” He hungers to understand God and His ways more clearly.
2. He prays for God’s presence v.15-16. God has told Moses that he would send an angel to take Moses and the people on to the promise land, but that isn’t enough for Moses. Moses says that the thing that seperates them from all other people is God’s presence v.16. Moses says he doesn’t want to go on with the mission if God isn’t with them. He would rather stay there on Mt.Sinai rather than to go on without God and experience the promise land.
3. He prays to see God’s glory v.18 This is a pretty great prayer for a man who earlier said he wasn’t very eloquent. What he is really praying for is to see God’s face. Having gotten as close to God as he has he still hungers for more. He wants to see God, to know Him even more intimately. God tells him he cannot see his face and live, but he will see His back.
Moses was not allowed to see God’s face and live. But, John would write in his gospel that “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 What Moses was not allowed to behold we have seen in Jesus. For when we look at Jesus we see the face of God. Just as the writer of Hebrews has said, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. . . .” Heb 1:3a. So, to have the same desire as Moses we should then fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Heb 12:2.
May the Lord give us still this same hunger to meet with God. That we will not be satisfied with going through the motions of religious experiences. But, rather we would seek to come to know Him in still more intimate ways. That we would hunger to know His ways, to experience His presence and to come to know Him in intimate ways. That others may see Christ when they look into our lives.