The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. (Exodus 34:6–8)
“Please show me Your glory.”
This was Moses’s request to God. It was an audacious request—one that no one to that point had ever dared make. And yet, because He loved Moses, God saw fit to honor it.
He put Moses in the cleft of a rock and covered him with His hand as His glory passed by, because no man can see God’s unveiled radiance and live. The Lord then removed His hand and allowed Moses to see His backside. Yet the emphasis here is not upon what Moses saw, but what he heard.
It was God’s own proclamation of Himself—His love, His grace, His faithfulness—that most potently revealed His glory to Moses.
This means that God’s glory is not merely a matter of aesthetic beauty. As people who live each day immersed in a digitalized culture of high-definition visual stimulation, this may surprise us. We would expect God’s answer to Moses’s request to be nothing more than a stunning visual experience. But what happened to Moses reveals something quite different, that God’s glory is fundamentally revealed in the proclamation of His character as God.
It was the knowledge of God that caused Moses to fall down and worship.
We are taught by our culture to crave the visually impressive experience, which is why many churches are resorting to bigger and bigger stage productions. It’s also why Bible apps like YouVersion are increasingly relying on visual stimulation to engage its users (memes, videos, etc). But God’s glory is principally revealed to us as we hear His Word, know His character, and worship Him for who He is. This is instructive for us as we gather.
It is true that one day we will see God face to face (1 Cor. 13:12; 1 Jn. 3:2); our faith will be turned into sight. This is the great hope of the Christian life. But until then God, it seems, is generally not as concerned with what we see as He is with what we hear. Bottom line: He wants us to know His character. This is why we gather around His Word each Sunday. For when His Word is proclaimed, His glory is revealed.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
- How do you spend time with God? What is shaping your knowledge of Him? Many of us, I suspect, rely heavily upon visual stimulation such as YouTube videos and inspirational memes for spiritual engagement. While these may be helpful, they often replace the substantive pursuit of the knowledge of God. Ask God to help you make His Word central in your relationship with Him. Tell Him that you believe what He has revealed. Pray that the Holy Spirit would give you a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and greater desire to know God’s character through them.
- How do you respond when the Word of God is proclaimed in LifePoint’s gatherings? Is your listening characterized by a desire to know God more? Is your impulse, when you hear His Word, to worship Him?
- Pray that God’s Word would be precious to us as a church. Ask that LifePoint would be eager to hear from God and respond in worship.
Set List for Sunday, April 07, 2019:
- Center My Life (A. Ivey, B. Land)
- The Passion (B. Ligertwood, S. Ligertwood, S. Davenport)
- Come Thou Fount (R. Robinson)
- In the Hands of Christ My King (C. Collins, M. Dawes, A. Ivey, B. Land)
- More to Come (J. Ingram, K. Stanfill, P. Wickham, B. Younker)