Asking to See God

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Have you ever prayed: “God, can you show me your face?” Moses did. How? What happened? Was his prayer answered?

Exodus 33:12-23 (NASB)

God’s favor: vv.12-13
Moses prayed “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” Moses learned the secret to finding favor with God is to know God. How? To know God is to ask Him ‘to teach me your ways.’

How do we experience God’s favor? vv.14-16
Presence and Rest
The Lord said ‘yes’ to Moses’ request for him to know God. My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest. God’s Presence = Rest. What an assurance! I enjoy rest each time God’s presence is with me.

17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.”

Favor and knowledge: v. 17
God granted Moses his request based on grace – favor in His sight. God Himself established his relationship with Moses – He has known Moses by name. What a blessing! God hears my prayer on the basis of His favor and knowledge of me. His knowledge – not mine.

18 Then Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory!”

God’s glory: vv19-22
It’s interesting to note that God’s glory (God’s face v. 20) is God’s goodness. What a bold request! Moses asked to see God’s face. I thought that with all the time Moses spent on the mountain talking to God, he’d already seen God. God’s glory was reflected on Moses’ face such that each time he came down the mountain, someone had to cover Moses’ face with a veil.

God’s goodness comes with His name. I am the Lord of mercy & compassion. According to His sovereignty, He said: ‘I will have mercy/compassion on whom I will have mercy/compassion.’ v. 19

How did the Lord show His glory/goodness/face to Moses:
20 He further said, “You cannot see My face, for mankind shall not see Me and live!” 21 Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place [aw]by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

God puts us in a place on a rock – a cleft in the rock and covers us with His hand, and lets us see His back. We might never see His face but we know He is with us – His hand cover us, He’s got our back with His back.

A song by Fanny Crosby comes to mind. She was blind from 6 weeks old yet she wrote many beautiful inspiring hymns.

He Hideth My Soul

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.

“Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by.” (Exodus 33:21,22)

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