Remembering the Passover & Exodus: a selection of passages & meditations
"The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend"

Scripture: Exodus 33:7-11; 33:18 - 34:9; 34:29-35

(33) 7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp; and he called it the tent of meeting. And every one who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. 8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose up, and every man stood at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he had gone into the tent. 9 When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the door of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. 10 And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the door of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, every man at his tent door. 11 Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tent.

18 Moses said, "I pray thee, show me thy glory." 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. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live." 21 And the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand upon the rock; 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen."

(34) 1 The LORD said to Moses, "Cut two tables of stone like the first; and I will write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No man shall come up with you, and let no man be seen throughout all the mountain; let no flocks or herds feed before that mountain."

4 So Moses cut two tables of stone like the first; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tables of stone. 5 And the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 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, 7 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 upon the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."

8 And Moses made haste to bow his head toward the earth, and worshiped. 9 And he said, "If now I have found favor in thy sight, O Lord, let the Lord, I pray thee, go in the midst of us, although it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thy inheritance." 29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tables of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 And when Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. 32 And afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai.

33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; 34 but whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out; and when he came out, and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, 35 the people of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone; and Moses would put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Meditation: Moses' humility and obedience are constant, as is his fiery love for God and his self-less service of his people. He went daily to the tent of meeting to worship God. The Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend. Moses boldly asked the Lord to show him his glory. He desired intimate fellowship and full revelation of the God of Israel. The Lord graciously answered him and showed him his glory. Is your zeal for God hot or cold? And do you seek to draw near to him in daily fellowship and prayer?

We, too, are privileged to see the glory of God revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ. Christ is the glory of God and his presence in our lives transforms us from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18). Whose glory do you seek--yours or God's?

In the glory of the burning bush God revealed himself to Moses as the great I AM. On Mount Sinai, when he manifests his splendor to Moses he proclaims who he is in a seven-fold perfection: 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. The people needed a merciful God who would teach them his ways and discipline them when they went astray. God's response to the intercession of Moses and the repentance of his people is the revelation of his grace and his glory (see 2 Cor. 3:12-18).

Jesus is the mercy of God to sinners, showing us the way to the Father, through repentance, humility, and obedience to the word of God. The Lord's mercy reveals the depths of his tender love for sinners, a love for the undeserving and a willingness to bend over backwards to reconcile us to the Father. Do you approach God's throne of mercy with humility, repentance, and a firm resolve to turn away from sin in the future?

Moses transfiguration on the Mountain points to the transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor (Luke 9:28-36)). The glory of Moses was a reflection of God's glory. Jesus is the glory of God (Hebrews 1:3), hidden in the incarnation, but manifested in visible form on Mount Tabor in the presence of Peter, James, and John, his disciples. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit we can see the glory of God. In heaven we will see God face to face and behold his beauty. Do you seek the Lord's presence and do you listen to his voice?

"Lord Jesus Christ, give me the eyes of faith to see your glory. Inflame my heart with love for you and with zeal for your kingdom and for your righteousness."

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(c) 1999, 2001, 2002 Don Schwager