Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Background: Wandering in the wilderness between slavery and redemption, the Hebrew people praised God and complained, obeyed God and disobeyed, and showed great faith and lack of faith. When asked to make the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting and Ark of the Covenant, which held the commandments God had given them through Moses, the people brought so many offerings that they had to be asked to stop giving!
After the elaborate Tabernacle had been completed, the people would stand and watch while Moses entered the tent and the pillar of cloud descended. As the LORD spoke to Moses, his whole countenance would shine with such a glow that he had to cover his face with a veil to keep from scaring the people!
Moses did not see the face of God, but he saw the glory of God when he prayed for the Holy Presence to stay close beside him and the people:
Then Moses said to the LORD, “Now, therefore, I pray that if I have found favor in Your sight, You will show me Your way so I might know You and find grace in Your sight. Remember, too, that this nation is Your people.”
“And God answered, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’
“Then Moses said to God, 'If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from this place. For how will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight unless You go with us? We shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people on the face of the earth.’
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do what you have asked for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.’
“Then Moses prayed, ‘Please show me Your glory.’
“And God said, ‘I will make My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But you cannot see My face for no one can see Me and live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Stand here beside Me in this place on the rock, and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand,” Exodus 33:13-22.
Questions: In what way has the goodness of God passed before you, enabling you to see, hear, or feel your closeness to the Holy Presence? Have you found a church or synagogue where that Presence lifts you into praise and worship? What does the word of God that came through Moses and the Prophets and other spirit-filled writers mean to you? How would you describe the Glory of God?
Prayer: Dear LORD God and Heavenly Father, as Pentecost approaches, we pray for You to draw close to us and help us to draw close to You. Empower and bless all of Your people with the coming of Your Holy Spirit on this holy day and season of Pentecost.
© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. If you share this with your church, synagogue, or Bible study group, please let everyone know where to find the site. For other articles and devotionals on Bible topics and various aspects of writing, follow postings on The Word Center or visit Blogs by Mary. Thanks.