Using Exodus 33-34
In our anxiety, When we need to see God’s Glory in His Grace and in His Justice.
Exodus 33:18-23, NIV
18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
Moses was up on Mt. Sinai where God gave him His Ten Commandments for the people and the Old Testament Ceremonial and Civil Laws. But the people could not see God. They wanted a visual representation of God – an idol – to worship. They wanted something they could see and hang on to (Exodus 32). They fashioned and worshipped the Golden Calf. Moses pleaded that God would forgive the people. God promised forgiveness. He said to Moses, Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Moses asked for even more assurance after the trauma of coming down the mountain and seeing the people worshipping the idol they had made. He asked God, “Now show me your Glory.” Moses felt he needed God’s assurance to help him and the people through this disaster they had made for themselves.
- What is makes your situation one that you think that it is important to have the assurance of God’s presence with you right now?
- A part of God’s glory is His absolute power and strength. What does God say to you in vs. 19 when He says He will show Moses His goodness and His compassion?
- God is concerned for Moses. He is the Creator of all. Moses would die if He saw the fullness of God’s glory. But God will allow Moses to see His back. Moses will not see his full glory, but he will see enough of it to be comforted with the assurance of God’s presence. How does God show you His glory?
- “The LORD,” is the Hebrew word for Jaweh – the Faithful God who keeps all of His Promises. How does that name, “The LORD,” give emphasis to God’s words to Moses in verses 6 and 7?
- How does that comfort give you assurance of God’s presence with you?
Exodus 34:5-7, NIV 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
God answered Moses in the words in the passages in the left hand column. He tells Moses and us that He is “I AM,” “The Lord.” He is the faithful God who keeps His promises forever.
- The people had just sinned in making the Golden Calf and worshipping it. Yet God forgave them. How does that comfort you?
- The end of verse 7 describes God’s justice which is also perfect. While that can be scary, we remember His forgiveness for all of our sins through faith in Jesus. How comforting are these words as you remember that God has made you His Child through faith in Jesus?
- How may the way you live your life with God’s presence with you right now impact your family into the future?
- Your God of love is with you. He gave you Jesus as your Savior. How are you encouraged and comforted by the glory of His love and forgiveness for you in Jesus?
Be assured of God’s gracious love.
*From the writings of Rev. Alan Siggelkow. Please cite if including this resource elsewhere. Sparked by a Christmas Day sermon by Pastor Kurt Ebert at Christ Alone Ev. Lutheran Church, Mequon/Thiensville, Wisconsin on July 4, 2021. Used with his permission.
The above exercise has greater benefit when working with a Christian therapist, your pastor, or a fellow Christian. Interaction and accountability with another person who can provide understanding and encouragement is reinforced in therapy sessions.