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.Exodus 33:22(NASB)
Moses was the great law-giver of Israel, but he also enjoyed intimate fellowship and close friendship with God. Moses had a deep interest and concern for the people of Israel and interceded on their behalf, on many occasions.
Despite their murmurings against both the Lord and himself, Moses had deep, spiritual concern for God's chosen people which caused him to plead with the Lord for His goodness and grace, His guidance and direction.
This servant of God had been instructed to lead God's people, but the Lord had become angry with His disobedient nation because of their unbelief. Moses knew that he needed much wisdom to lead this rebellions and stiff-necked people, and so he pleaded that the presence of the Lord would accompany them - every step of the way - and lead them in the path of righteousness.
It must have been a great comfort to Moses to hear the Lord guarantee, "My presence will go with you and I will give you rest." And this wonderful promise from God is as relevant today as it was in those distant days, when Moses first heard those beautiful words of encouragement.
But he was further emboldened by God's long-suffering mercy, to make one further request of the Lord Who shows mercy to whomsoever He will, "I beseech You, Lord," was his request, "show me Your glory, I pray."
God is gracious, and His response to Moses is quite amazing. God explained that although no one could see His face and live, nevertheless He instructed Moses to go and stand on a certain rock... and while the glory of the Lord passed by, He would place Moses into the cleft of the rock and would cover him with His hand while He passed by.
"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," was the actual reply that Moses received from the Lord.
Imagine standing on top of the rock and watching the approaching glory of the Lord. Envisage being caught up by the Lord and concealed in the cleft of the rock. Think about the wonders of seeing the glory of God pass before your very eyes, "and I will take away My hand and you will see My back - but My face will be seen by no one," were God's concluding words.
As we reflect on Moses' unique experience, there may be times when we too long for such an intimate exchange like the one that took place in those dim and distant days. And yet, we sometimes forget that the incredible revelations that we have received in the Word of God, vastly surpass that which Moses experienced. For we have seen the living God, in the face of Jesus Christ. We have the Holy Spirit of God, permanently indwelling our very body and guiding us into the way of truth. We have the resurrected life of Christ, raising us up into the newness of life - for our body is the very temple of God and we are one with Him. We are covered in the glorious righteousness of our risen and glorified Saviour... and by faith, we are seated with Him in heavenly places.
May we never, ever forget the privileges that are ours in Christ. Let us in everything, by prayer and supplication, with humble thanksgiving of heart, praise our heavenly Father Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ... in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting, according to the riches of His grace.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful way that You led and guided Your people Israel, despite their constant murmuring and lack of faith. Thank You that I have been born again in Christ and am seated with Him in heavenly places. Although I may not have seen Your glory with my physical eyes, I thank You, Father, that my spiritual eyes have been opened to Your truth and that I have been baptised into the Body of Christ. Thank You that I have the Holy Spirit of glory indwelling my body and am eternally positioned in Christ. May I live and work to Your praise and glory, for the rest of my life. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.