Exodus 33 : The glory of the Lord

March 2, 2024 ·

God instructs Moses to lead His people to Canaan, indicating that He Himself will not accompany them due to His frustration with the Israelites’ obstinacy. Instead, an angel will guide them. God expresses concern that His presence might provoke His anger, leading to the destruction of the people, which distresses them.

Moses would enter a tent to converse with God, where a pillar of cloud would descend, signaling God’s presence to the onlooking and worshiping Israelites. Joshua would remain in the tent even after Moses departed.

In discussions with God, Moses expresses his reservations about being guided by an unfamiliar angel. Moved by His relationship with Moses, God decides to accompany His people after all. Moses requests to see God’s glory, and God agrees to display His goodness, though He prohibits Moses from seeing His face to prevent Moses’ death.

Key verse:
19. And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 

My thoughts:
God’s initial reluctance to accompany the Israelites directly stems from His grief over their actions. His decision not to go with them reflects His love and His desire to avoid destroying them in anger. Ultimately, it is His affection for Moses that sways Him to journey with them.

These passages reveal a God who engages in a very human-like manner, showcasing His willingness to be persuaded by Moses and His concern over controlling His anger. This should not be seen as a flaw in God’s character but rather as an illustration of God’s desire to relate to us in an understandable way, even allowing for the possibility of changing His mind.

Moses is granted a glimpse of God’s full glory, a rare and significant experience distinct from their usual communications. God’s glory, though seldom revealed, profoundly impacts those who witness it, as seen during the consecration of Solomon’s temple, where the glory fills the temple, compelling all the priests to fall facedown.

In category:Exodus
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