You pick up your Bible and wonder. Is there more here than meets the eye?
Is there something here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages.
Welcome to More Than Ink. Hey, last time we got the Tent of Meeting. Yeah, what went on in there?
Yeah, it doesn't make you curious about what God and Moses talked about. What was the conversation like? It says they were face to face. Yeah, well, today we'll go inside the Tent of Meeting and we'll actually eavesdrop on that conversation today on More Than Ink. Well, good morning and welcome back to our dining room table. I'm Dorothy.
And I'm Jim. And we have been adventuring our way through the book of Exodus. We are three quarters of the way through it.
Yeah, we're blazing through it. And we are in that period of time when after the golden calf, God had said, I can't be in your midst anymore. And so Moses sets up the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. And when the Lord makes it clear that he is meeting with Moses in the pillar of smoke that comes down in front of the door, the people stand at their own doorways and worship from a distance.
They can't come close. So that's kind of where we are at in the book. And we are today going to look at the conversation inside the tent. We had talked about a little bit last week about God speaking with Moses face to face in this direct conversation like a person talks to his friend. So here we're going to get an inside look into that conversation today. Yeah, because we asked it at that time. Too bad God didn't give us some dialogue that goes inside that tent.
But he did. But it is. And it's right here in chapter 33 verse 12. And it again is quite an astonishing conversation that we have between Moses and God. It's a really personal one. Very personal. It's very personal on Moses' half. And it's also very personal on God's. Well, and it's very bold on Moses' part. You'll see in a second. Well, it's urgent. I think Moses is in anguish here. We better just read it. Yeah.
But what I like to do is paint for myself a picture. If we're going to look inside this tent meeting, what does a conversation like that look like when you go inside there? And I would not guess this.
I would think something much more religious. Oh, that holy God. Yeah, Moses is really wrestling. He's wrestling with his own feelings and his own understanding of who this God is. Because remember, Moses is the one who had really administrated the miracles of coming out of Egypt, right? He was the one who was raising the staff and doing the things and God was acting on their behalf. So he's struggling now.
He's struggling, yeah. So imagine what is Moses going to talk to God about now that this tent of meeting is established. And here we go. Verse 12. Want me to read?
Yeah, go ahead. Okay. Well, Moses said to the Lord, see, you say to me, bring up this people, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, I know you by name and you have also found favor in my sight. Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people. Okay, let's stop there.
We'll stop there. What is Moses wrestling with? He needs assurance that God really has seen him in favor.
Yes. If I have found favor in your sight, then I need more because he says that three times, right? Show me, show me because I just, and isn't it amazing? He's what he has seen God do up to this point. And yet he says, you know, you haven't told me what's coming. You haven't told me what's ahead, right?
But we got a little glimpse of it because at the end of last week's conversation, we saw Joshua hanging around at the tent when Moses would leave. Yeah. Yeah. Please show me your ways that I might, that I may know. Yeah. Show me your ways. If I have found favor, I need more.
I want more. Isn't that interesting that Moses has seen God do some amazing things, but he still doesn't feel like he knows God. Yeah.
He doesn't understand God's heart. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, that's why I look at this and I see boldness here because if you say, well, you know, God has revealed as much as he's going to reveal to me, I should just be satisfied and content with that. And Moses has seen a lot of stuff to be content with. Yes, but it's been smoke and fire and people died. Right. Right. So, but now he's saying, I want to know, I want to know more.
I want to know, please show me your ways that I may know you in order that I might find favor. And at his last line about the nation and don't forget God, this nation is your people. Not my people, because God has said, you know, you've told me bring this people up, but they're your people. And he's speaking kind of like a shepherd here. You know, a shepherd does not own the sheep all the time. They many times are, they're employed to watch someone else's sheep. And you know, he came from being a shepherd and median. So, you know, so what you need to do is when you're watching someone else's sheep, you need to ask the owner, what do you want me to do with your sheep?
What do you want to do? And this is exactly what he's asking right here. This is your, these are your people. These are your sheep. So I need to know more if you want me to shepherd. Well, it's really a shepherd speaking. Well, and it's not just information he's asking for. He says, I want to know you want to know, I want to know your ways. What are you thinking? God, let me into your heart.
Yeah. And, and you know, if you keep with a shepherd metaphor too, you know, you wonder whether or not the shepherd has completely jettisoned his flock because of what's been going on in the last couple chapters. And so, so there might be some confusion on Moses part. So, you know, what is your relationship with your people? What is your relationship with your flock?
And how am I supposed to be here as a shepherd doing this? I need to know more. I need to know you. I need to know your heart. I need to know what's going on here. If I have indeed found favor, I need to know you.
It's a, it's a great question. So God's answer in verse 14 is really reassuring because God says, and my presence will go with you and I will give you rest. Wow. Oh, now while I just started breathing a little easier. Yeah, that's, that's nice. And Moses responds in verse 15, he says to him, if your presence will not go up with me, don't bring us up from here.
Nope. For how shall it be known that I've found favor in your sight? I and your people, is it not in your going with us so that we're distinct?
I and your people from every other people on the face of the earth. So maybe he's wrestling with the fact that he's meeting with God alone in this tent of meeting the separate from the camp. And prior to the incidents with the, the golden calf, God's presence had been right there with him.
That's true. And Moses is like, well, is this the way it's going to be? Yeah. Is he, are we going forward like this forever or something else? That's why this, you know, he mentioned before the tent of meeting, he speaks to God face to face, like, like to a friend and there, you know, he's being open. He's being very open. Yeah.
Yeah. Have I found favor? I and your people, you know, are you going with this? Well, it turns out I will give you rest. Now why say rest?
That's an interesting thing. I would say my presence will go with you and I'll, you know, the Jebusites knows guys, I'll fight on your behalf. Remember that was the last word on the mountain that guy wrote on the stone before he sent Moses down. Rest, rest, observe the Sabbath, rest in me. Yeah. And it's, it's an amazing statement on the human condition that in, in the circumstances of our life, we seldom find rest.
I think because we're so overwhelmed with the details of life and the threats of life and concerns about our wellbeing. Well, sure. And Jesus, remember, you said that come to me if you're weary and heavy, laden and overburdened, and I will give you rest for your soul. Right. That implies you have to trust me. Yep.
Yep. Quit your yammering and trust me. And I think that's a, that must be a big component of what Moses is drive, being driven by is he's coming to God right now. He says, I, you know, if I have found favor, you know, I need to know you, I need to know more what's going on. And there's, there's sort of a, an anxiety. And maybe he's tired. This is a lot of work. That could be too.
This is a lot of hard work. Yeah. Well, he, you know, he said that before, actually. He poured out his guts in a seating for the people said, don't, you know, don't blow them away.
You know, let's not do that. So it's been, it's been a big traumatic right up to this point because the golden calf, especially, but now, but now God in the very, I just love how simple God's response is. My presence will go with you. I will give you rest. And for a leader of these, you know, a couple million people, that's really good news. Really, really good news.
I will go with you. I mean, look at what he says beyond that verse 17. And the Lord said to Moses, this very thing that you've spoken, I will do right. He said, I want to know that you're with me. You, for you have found favor in my sight and I know you by name.
By name. Yeah. And Moses said, please show me your glory. Right. Now, wait a minute. He had seen the fire, the thunder, the, the 10 words carved on the stone. He had seen the sea dry up and he had seen the Egyptian slaughtered and he had seen water come out of the rock and he had seen the man. So what's he asking for?
Show me your glory. Yeah. Yeah. If, if you found favor, I want to back up just a little bit, just a tiny bit, because, um, at the end of 16, he talks about, uh, you know, we're supposed to be a distinct people. Right.
And we didn't, we didn't touch on that. It's about God's reputation. God's reputation.
And that what is that distinctness or the distinctness. And we say this all the time is God is, is, um, is forming a nation or actually resurrecting a nation here after Abraham and all those guys, but he's forming a nation that, that is having God as its center. It's a God centric nation. It's not a King centric or a military centric nation. It's a God centric nation. And that's what's going to make them distinctive from every other nation on earth, every other nation on earth. And as a result of that, the testimony about the character and glory of God will be displayed through this nation, living with God as its center. There'll be different kinds of people. Like for instance, we talked before about the Sabbath and the Sabbath is a rest issue.
It's a trust and rest issue. And for the rest of the world, they will look at the Israelites and say, those guys take one day off a week. They're all going to start, you know, they're going to have grasshoppers eating all their crops.
They're all going to die. And they, and they would say, no, not true because we have a God who watches the crops on that day we take off. So there's this distinctiveness. And so Moses comes back to him at this point and says, you know, we're supposed to be distinct, you know, I and your people from every other people in the face of the earth. And it's your presence with us that makes that distinction. And so God, I'm, I'm in for that. Let's do that.
Let's do that. And so that's why his presence has to be with him. But Moses is saying for me to do my job leading these people, being the intermediary between you and me, like in 17, you know, I need to know you by name. And I need a clear view of who you are. Show me your glory, right?
That essence of who you are, which makes God's answer. So can I use the word glorious? It is right. Because we would expect God to say maybe something else.
I would. He says here's, and the Lord says in verse 19, I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name, the Lord Yahweh. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
But he said, you cannot see my face for man shall not see me and live. Yeah. Okay. Can we stop there for a second before we go on to hiding in the rock? We have to.
Yeah. Because, you know, I would have expected the Lord to say, here's my glory. I'm holy. I'm righteous. I'm all powerful. I'm the judge of all the earth. All right.
But God leads with his goodness and then he follows it with his I amness and then his grace and his mercy. Yeah. Wow. Yeah.
Yeah. Throughout the entire old Testament, the refrain is give thanks to the Lord for he is good. And so here the glory of God is to parade his goodness in front of Moses. Well, and you know, I always really for many, many years, I thought this was a statement of limiting God's grace, right? He said, I'll be gracious to whom I'll be gracious.
Oh, I see. But what he's saying is I will be overwhelmingly gracious to anybody. I choose to be gracious too.
He can hardly wait to parade his grace. Right. Slow to anger, abundant and loving kindness. And I'll show mercy to whom I show mercy. Yeah.
Yeah. Which actually will come into play more when they start fighting people in the land. Because what you want God to do is to be your ad, you know, the adversary of your adversaries, which he does do.
In fact, he promises that's what he'll be. But what happens when God decides to be merciful to people, you know, that just makes you go crazy in a certain way. But you got to say to yourself, but wait a second, God will have mercy on whoever he has mercy. Well, here God is having mercy on his own people on his own when they didn't deserve it. He didn't wipe them out.
That's the point. So when God does show mercy to a people, I'm thinking of Jonah and the, you know, those people, when he does show mercy, you can't sit there and say, well, God, that's not right. You can't show mercy to people like that.
Cause they don't deserve it. And God can say, wait, I did that with you. Yeah. So that's the really point I'm choosing to be gracious and merciful and I'm, and I'm letting you experience it first.
So he goes on and he says, but you can't see my face for no man can see me and live. Right. Right. And we had already talked about this last week that Moses had been conversing with God face to face, meaning directly with nothing in between. Yeah.
But, but God says now, you know, you've asked me to show you my glory, but you can't see my face. Right. And I, and in knowing what we know from the new Testament, we could almost insert yet in there because look what the Lord says next.
Yeah. It's so amazing. He's made this incredible statement of, of grace. And then he says in verse 21 and the Lord said, behold, there's a place by me where you shall stand on the rock. 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.
Then I will take away my hand and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen. Right. And again, I'm mentally inserting yet. Yet. We'll get to that in a second.
Cause the new Testament just unpacks this beautifully, but this is Moses in a real place, a real time, having a real experience with God. Yeah. And he's saying, show me, show me who you are. I show you who I, I'll show you who I am, but I'm going to protect you. That's right.
You can't, you can't be full on exposed to me. Right. Because of the holiness would kill you. The holiness and justness of God. But I'm going to do something.
And so there's so many things I want to talk about here. Cause again, as a young believer, I was just puzzled by this glory passing by. And you don't get to see my face. You'll get to see my back.
What is that? When we turn our back to somebody, it's not a good thing. But the essence here, isn't it that God, you're going to see that I have been here and that I have done something.
You won't see me, but you'll see what I have done. Yeah. Yeah. And where I have been.
It'll be close, but not as close as you want. Yeah. Because I'm going to protect you. I'm going to set you right here by me on this rock. Yeah.
Okay. So Bible studyers, this is an excellent place to do a little concordance study. Pull up that word rock and you're going to find a hundred and something references in scripture to the word rock.
And there's a couple of different words. But if you focus on rock in Exodus and then through the Psalms, you're going to find this idea of the rock being provision, protection, refuge. And in Exodus, it's a source of living water. Yeah. Yeah. So in Moses at the end of his life, when he's singing this Psalm to the people, he says, our God is a rock.
There's none like him. So God here is doing this protective thing for Moses. Now you're going to be close to me, but I'm going to place you in this immovable, protective rock. Yeah. It's a perfect immovable protection.
Yeah. I'll put you in the cleft of the rock. So it's interesting that God doesn't deny him exposure at all. He just says, okay, we'll do this, but I have to protect you because, because you can't be in my presence. I mean, that's the sin issue again.
That's the whole thing. But I want you to experience something of my glory. I want you to see my glory passing by.
I want you to see what I have done. Well, you know, this just makes me want to leap into the new Testament. So if you're, if you are doing that concordance study, then look for the rock references in the new Testament because you're going to come to some very interesting ones. Probably the one that is a good landing place here is Paul's commentary in 1 Corinthians 10 when he says, I don't want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all into the cloud and they all passed through the sea, right? He's talking about the Israelites and they were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and they all drank the same spiritual drink for they were drinking from a spiritual rock, which followed them.
Here it comes. And the rock was Christ. Christ, yeah. So Paul has just decoded this statement to Moses for us.
When God says to him, I'm going to place you into Christ, your protector, provider, source of refuge in living water. And you'll see what I've done. Yep. So could you say that in the first century, the people who saw Christ in a sense were in the cleft of that walk and seeing the proximate glory of God passing by. Well, John says that in the beginning, the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw his glory, saw his glory, full of grace and truth as the only son of the father. So there it is.
Again, it's decoded for us. The glory of God is seen in the face of Christ. Yeah. Remember Jesus said in John 14, nine, if you've seen me, you've seen the father.
Yeah. So this in a way really prefigures the incarnation, you know, the presence, the close presence of God. However, there's Jesus can be there and we know that Jesus is going to be the judge of all mankind. I mean, here's ultimate justice. If you've done anything wrong in your life, you're toast. So, but in this particular case, when Jesus comes, he doesn't come to judge.
Right. So the danger of judgment is not there. And yet you can be fully in the presence of who God is. However, the judgment will come later from that same Jesus. Well, Jesus says in John five, if you're in me or believe in me, you've passed out of judgment into life. So I think that that is a picture here too of God placing Moses into that rock. And then the glory is passing by.
The judgment is passing by. Yeah. So this here in this cleft of this rock, this is a safe exposure to God by God's design and by his hand itself. It's a safe exposure to God. Jesus himself is a safe exposure to God for us. Indeed the only safe exposure to God.
Yeah. What's that line in Narnia where, you know, is the lion safe? Oh, he's not a tame lion. He's in the tame lion. He's not safe, but he's good.
But he's good. Yeah. And that's just a perfect representation of this. It really is. Yeah.
He's not safe, but he is good. So, you know, maybe you think that we are just kind of back reading the New Testament into this statement, but the fact that Paul talks about it time and again in his letters and not just in the first Corinthians letter, but he unpacks it more in the second Corinthians letter in chapter three, more and more about this, this glory that is veiled that then we see the glory of God in the face of Christ. Right. And just like Moses, our desire is to know more of God. Right. God, I want to know you just like anyone who happened to bump up against Jesus at the time. I want to know more about who this guy is.
I want to hang out with him for forever. Yeah. Yeah.
I pulled one of the second Corinthians chapter three, you know, we all with unveiled first are beholding the glory of God and we're being transformed in the same image from one degree of glory to another for this comes from the Lord who is a spirit. So there is indeed a sense in which we will know more and more about God, but part of that is through how he's transforming us. Right. Yeah.
We see him, we see him recreate in our hearts, his own heart, and we start to see more of who God is in ourselves as he builds that in our hearts. That's that part we talked about before about the law being written on our hearts and not on stone. Yeah. When you take, which also is Saint Corinthians three, it's the same chapter. It's the same chapter.
It's the same chapter. So there's a sense in which we get to understand more and more about the glory of who God is because he's replicating himself through his spirit in us. And, uh, and even when John writes one of his, one of his little letters, you know, he wrote, and I pulled this out cause he's cause cause he says basically, uh, you know, no one has ever seen God. This is first John four. No one has ever seen God, but listen, if we love one another, God abides in us.
Wow. And his love is perfected or find its end in us. So he's saying no one has ever seen God, but you know what? If you see others around you who've been transformed by God himself, loving one another, you're seeing God in action.
You're actually seeing who he is. Jesus said that if you love me, you'll keep my commandments, right? You'll walk in the way that I instruct you to walk and I'll call you my friends.
Call you my friends. So indeed the way in which he transforms the believers heart writes the law on their hearts to the degree that he does that. And you say you collect together as a church body and you gather together. You actually, according to Paul's literal writing, you look at the body of Christ and you see Christ himself and not because we're achieving anything on our own, but because he is writing on our hearts and transforming us.
He's changing us. So do you want to see the face of God? Do you want to understand what God is like? Look what he's building in the hearts of those that you meet with. And I would just add as an aside that to the degree to which you stay out of those gatherings, you see less of who God is because you see less of how he's transforming us one another. And we just don't see God as clearly until we see him building himself into our hearts.
Well, and we also in staying apart from that kind of fellowship deny God the opportunity for the transformative work that takes place in us when we rub up against other people who are also in the process of being transformed. Yep. Yep. That's right. So we're short on time.
You are going towards a passage. I have second Corinthians four in front of me, because again, Paul is talking about the gospel being veiled, right? And people deny that, oh, it can't possibly be about Jesus. But he says the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. And then a verse later, he uses that same phrase, but he turns it around for God, who said, light shall shine out of darkness is the one who's shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Right. So there it is. He said, we, we understand and we know because God is transforming our hearts that the glory of God is seen in the face of Jesus. Yes.
You want to see God look at Jesus. The word became. That's where you keep adding the word yet.
You can't see my face. That's right. So back at Moses, God says, I'm going to hide you in the rock. Right. Right.
And you, you're going to see when I have passed by. Yeah. Yeah. So it's not that God is turning his back on Moses. He's saying, I'm hiding you now in the rock, which is Christ. Right.
And you're going to see that I've been here and I've done something. Yeah. So the desire of Moses is hard to know God more. And I think the growing desire on the part of the people as a becoming aware that they want to know God more, which is why there was such disastrous news that God may not be with him. All these desires to know God more are being answered and being fully answered with the coming of Christ. Yeah.
You know, and I, I picked on another thing. Paul said in first Corinthians 13, you know, we now see in a mirror. Yes. But then face to face and we, and now I know in part, but then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. So that's the answer of our hearts. We want more of Jesus, more of who God is. That was Moses' desire. And here he puts them in the cleft of the rock and says, check this out. So, so friends, this is so important that this entire sequence is going to get repeated again.
Oh yeah. Exodus 34. So this is God just saying, this is what I'm going to do. And then in verse in chapter 34, the actual event happens and we see Moses' response. So, oh, come back with us next week when we press on it. How does God answer the prayer? I want to know you more.
And this is how he entered. Well, we're glad you're with us. We're going through Exodus and we're out of time. So join us next time on More Than Ink. More Than Ink is a production of Main Street Church of Brigham City and is solely responsible for its content. To contact us with your questions or comments, just go to our website, MoreThanInk.org. See, there it goes.
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