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122 - The Shining

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
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November 26, 2022 1:00 pm

122 - The Shining

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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November 26, 2022 1:00 pm

Episode 122 - The Shining (26 Nov 2022) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City

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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. So what would you say if I asked you, what makes your face glow? A sunburn.

Who? Oh, but on a serious note. Yeah. Being with somebody I love and who loves me, having that close encounter makes me glow. Yeah, a special encounter with someone you love especially. Well, today Moses is going to have one of those special encounters, come back with his face glowing today on More Than Ink.

Yes, this is More Than Ink. I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. And here we are again looking into God's Word. It's our delight to do so.

I hope for you too. And if you've been with us for the past couple of weeks, we are in Exodus. In fact, coming to a closing down Exodus. We've got the last few chapters ahead of us. The last few chapters, yeah. We've got all the instructions about how to build the tabernacle and what to put in it and how to build those and how to clothe the high priest and we've got that all set.

But we haven't quite started building it yet. We had the episode in the middle with the golden calf, unfortunately, and the destruction of those two original tablets. But now here we are in the middle of chapter 34. It looks like we've successfully finished our second time on the top of the mountain, Moses has at least, with God. And he's bringing down the Ten Commandments again. Again.

Not to be destroyed this time, fortunately. But as Moses comes into the camp, a strange thing is apparent about Moses, about his time with God. He spent how long? Well, he's been up there 40 days and 40 nights. Forty days and 40 nights. And just at the end of the passage we talked about last week in verse 28, it said, you know, he had been up there all that time and he neither ate bread nor drank water.

Nor drank water, yeah. He had been solely focused and sustained by God. Yes. In God's presence.

Yes. For those 40 days. So the people are thinking like last time he was up there 40 days, well, we don't know what happened to him.

Don't know what happened to him. Well, this time they know he's up there for another purpose or the same purpose actually over again. And in fact, if they know he hasn't eaten for 40 days or 40 nights, I'd expect him to look pale and emaciated and just kind of used up. Oh, that's an interesting thought. I mean, he's gone. So although I don't know if they, I'm not sure they knew that he wasn't eating, but I mean, it's been 40 days, so we'll see. So now he does come down and he does not look pale and emaciated.

He looks like something else. Why don't you read for us, if you're following with us, we're in chapter 34 of Exodus in verse 29. Verse 29. And this is where he comes and sees Israelites. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets 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. Aaron and all the people saw Moses and behold, the skin of his face shone and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him and Moses talked with them. Afterward, all the people of Israel came near and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai.

And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. Well, let's stop there. Yeah, let's stop there.

So his face was shining. Well, yeah. So what do you make of that? Well, it's consistent with a lot of other people we know of who've been in God's presence. Well, not a lot.

A lot? I can only think of one. I'm thinking Stephen. Yeah, Stephen. Stephen when he was in Acts 6. But there's the appearances of Jesus, you know, like in the Transfiguration.

There's this kind of glowing white... I was going to say, yeah, the instance with Stephen is a little bit different. Jesus is the one that comes to mind for me in the Transfiguration when the exact same words are used. That his face was glowing so bright they couldn't look at it. So, you know, my thought was, first of all, why is his face shining? And secondly, why were the people afraid of him because of that? Yeah, because it says they were afraid to come near him. So as he's coming down and coming near to them, they're all backing away.

So he's been gone a long time. Maybe they're afraid because they don't know who he is and he's visibly transformed. And they're like, who is that and what has happened to him? We're not going near this guy. He looks out of worldly.

I mean, it just doesn't look right. Plus, the last time, the last time he came down from Mount Sinai, you know, that was the golden calf episode. You know, it got pretty ugly for a while there.

So here's this guy who's been in contact with God, who is the judge of all. I wonder if that's kind of overshadowing this a little bit as well. They're saying last time he came down, you know, it got pretty ugly.

But now he's coming back and we haven't been doing the golden calf thing. Okay, you said it got pretty ugly. It was horrible. It was.

Pretty ugly undersells it, right? There was the judgment on the people for making the golden calf. But then there was that incident where people died. They died, yeah. Right, there was an execution of the worst of the idolatrous leaders. So that's what I'm saying.

It's like when you're in the presence of God, who we know is the judge of all, who knows about sin, and here's his representative who's been with him 40 days, you know, you kind of hold your breath a little bit. However, that's not the issue here. The issue is, is his face is shining. His face is letting off light. So why would that be?

Yeah, why would that be? I had a couple of thoughts about that. If you remember back in chapter 34, he has just had this face-to-face encounter with God. In chapter 33, God had told him, here's what I'm going to do for you. But in chapter 34 in verse 5, and we read this a couple weeks ago, it says in verse 5, the Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the Lord. Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness and truth, who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin, yet he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and the children to the third and the fourth generation.

And Moses made haste to bow low to the earth and worship. And then he said, if now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, I pray. So he prays with boldness after seeing the Lord pass by.

He doesn't have a clue that his face is about to shine, right? But he has spent these days in this eyeball-to-eyeball encounter with God and been transformed by it. He has seen God renew the covenant. He has experienced this incredible relief of God's relenting and God's reestablishing the covenant, accepting Moses, right?

What drove Moses up there in the first place was, God, I want to know you. Show me your glory. Yeah. So you think the shining is indicative of the glory? Of being in the presence of God's glory, receiving his word, being accepted, finding favor in the face of God. I think it's all of that.

Yeah. And I agree with that totally. And I think, too, it makes me think of the moon because the moon doesn't create any light by itself, but it reflects a greater glory of the sun. And in a sense, this glory that he is shining is not really self-generated. This isn't Moses' glory.

This is kind of the bounce-off light from being in the glory of God himself. And yet there has been a transformation for Moses. Oh, there has. Because remember, he went up there and he said, God, I can't lead these people. I don't understand you.

I don't get you. Show me your glory and prove to me or show me that I've found favor in your sight. And when he's come backs down, he knows he has found favor in God's sight. God has shown him favor. And so I think that accounts for a transformation. And yet this isn't for his benefit.

No. This is for the people's benefit. I mean, they're the ones that react to what they see here. It makes me think, too, many times we talk about this idiom of coming near to God is coming to his face because when you face someone, you're in their presence.

You're going to face the judge when you go to court. There's this kind of near presence. There's some implied justice implied by that because of the righteousness of God. But the idiom is always about the face. So I've always wondered whether the shining Moses' face means that he has been with God and been in his face in that sense.

Well, I would agree. I mean, we still use the expression her face was glowing when we talk about a bride coming face to face with her intended husband at the altar. Whoever doesn't talk about brides as glowing. Glowing brides, yeah.

Or the effect of a very glorious encounter with someone you love and who loves you. You come away with your face glowing. Glowing, yeah, yeah. So, you know, I think that's kind of in view here. And then, you know, when you have a really bad sunburn, you feel like your face is glowing. Even in the dark, yeah. I wonder if there wasn't something of that that Moses had actually been physically affected by these days.

Could be. In the unveiled presence of God. But I think for the people, they can clearly deduce that he has been in the presence of God, in the face of God.

Right. Because Moses' face is glowing, not the rest of him. It's not like there's light coming out from under his robe or off his hands. His face is.

So this is clearly one of those things. And in fact, he used that idiom not too long ago when they talked about the tent of meeting where Moses would meet with God. Right, face to face. Face to face.

Like a man meets with his friend. So clearly he's been face to face with God and his face shows it. So there you go. It's probably worth mentioning. It's a silly kind of point.

But when this word shown was translated into Latin back in the 5th century into the Vulgate, they saw the word and translated it horns. And the reason I bring this up is because. My eyes are rolling up in my head. Well, I know.

How are you doing with that? You know I'm a master of trivia here. Well, the issue is it actually, in one of the Psalms, it is translated horns because it means something coming out of radiating out of. Oh, radiating out. And horns radiate out of a calf. You know, they grew the horns and stuff like that. And it's actually not a bad translation when you find where it is in one of the Psalms. But the issue is, is that then for the early church who worked off of the Latin Vulgate in the early church.

You know, starting 5th century, 6th century going forward. They always thought that Moses had horns because it said in the Latin he had horns. That's ridiculous. I know. So.

So translation is important. So when you get to the 16th century and Michelangelo has been tasked with creating a statue of Moses. It's still that to this very day Moses has horns on his head. So if you ever see that and say, hey, why does Moses have horns?

Or anything from that era. It's because they sort of mistranslated this word. This thing just means literally to radiate out from.

I looked it up because I hadn't looked at it for a couple of years. It means to send out rays. Something that comes out of you.

Okay. So this light is coming out of him. That's what's going on. Let's move on to the veil. But if you're ever confused. If you're ever confused by why does Moses have horns? It's from this verse right here.

It's from right here. Misinterpreted. Yeah. Okay. So let's move to the veil. So anyway. The last part that we just read was when he finished speaking with them he puts a veil over his face. Yes. Now why does he do that?

Because. But in his first talking with them he wasn't veiled. He wasn't veiled. But they were backing away.

Yeah. He put a veil on his face after that was done. So that takes us to verse 34.

Okay. So whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him he would remove the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded the people of Israel would see the face of Moses that the skin of Moses' face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again until he went in to speak with him. So that's very interesting to me. So from this point forward he veiled his face so they wouldn't see the shining.

Or wouldn't distract them. Yeah. Except in 2 Corinthians 3 when Paul talks about this he says behind the veil the glory was fading. And Moses kept the veil on until he went in before the Lord which would renew the radiance. I find that interesting.

Yeah. It's the only other place that I know of in the Bible in 2 Corinthians 3 where this veil is talked about. And Paul talks about it. This particular one.

This particular one. And it's interesting because in Paul's discussion in 2 Corinthians 3 he's talking about the comparative differences between the old covenant and the new covenant. And how the old covenant which we're seeing right here.

You know all the 10 commandments on stone. The old covenant had a great glory and the new covenant through Christ where the Spirit writes the law inside our hearts is a much greater glory. So he's making this argument about the fact hey they both had glories. But this second one. This second covenant is a permanent covenant.

The first one was kind of temporary. And that's what we're looking at right here. And as he contrasts those glories he said look if they couldn't stand to be in Moses' presence when his face shone because of the glory of that old covenant. Think what the glory of the new covenant is. So if you don't know what I'm talking about go read.

It's almost all of chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians. Well yeah and maybe we'll have a chance to read some of it before we get to the end. But let's talk about the veil for a minute. Why do you veil something? I mean the veil has received some text in Exodus up to this point right?

Remember that's what was called. In the temple. The thing that hangs in the tabernacle. It's a thing that's put up to separate and only the high priest could go through it once a year carrying the blood of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. So you know this idea of the veil separating something. So if Moses is wearing a separating thing he's separating them from his glory? Okay well he's taking the veil off when he goes in to talk to the Lord. But he's putting the veil back on when he comes out to talk to the people.

Okay let's just track with me here. In the New Testament we have in Hebrews talks about the veil being his flesh, Jesus's flesh right? And that he entered within the veil, he passed through the veil. If it's a separation then Jesus our high priest passes through that separating thing. Right the thing that keeps people out.

Yes. And then Isaiah 25 talks about how there will come a day when God will lift the veil that's over all mankind. And it says right there decoded the veil is death.

So Jesus our high priest has passed through death in order to secure the way into the Holy of Holies open for us. Now that's a lot of unpacking to this imagery of the veil that's hung up in the tabernacle. But Paul alludes to it when he says Moses covered because their hearts were veiled, their minds were veiled, they were separated from the reality of the holiness of God by the veil. Yeah so if you just remember the veil is a separator.

Not because it's a wall but because it's something much less than a wall but it's still a separator. And you know in a real sense when he talks about Jesus being that separator, Jesus being the veil, his role as judge also keeps people who are not righteous from the presence of God himself. So he's that as well as the one who walks through the veil, he's the one that walks through the thing that keeps man from coming in the presence of God. So the veil imagery is very powerful in many places. In fact at the end of that 2 Corinthians 3 chapter he switches the metaphor a little bit and says that even to this very day the Jews who don't understand the new covenant they have a veil over their hearts. A veil over their hearts.

It's separating them from understanding the truth. So the veil is that separator and here in this particular case it was used in order to keep the people from being too weirded out by the shine that they're seeing. I'm thinking maybe we should read some of this 2 Corinthians 3 passage.

That's a good idea. When Paul says 2 Corinthians 3 he's talking about the contrast between glory that fades and glory which remains. So picking it up in verse 12, having therefore such a hope we use great boldness in our speech and we're not as Moses who used to put a veil over his face that the sons of Israel might not look intently at the end of what was fading away. Okay, so that tells us behind the veil the glory was fading. But their minds were hardened for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their heart. But whenever a man turns to the Lord the veil is taken away.

Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. But we all with unveiled face beholding us in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as from the Lord the Spirit. So he's talking about how under the new covenant in the presence of God's law written on our hearts as an internal experience of his presence within us longing and experiencing his righteousness that we are being transformed by that and changed and it bears evidence in our lives.

People see the change in us. And he was saying if the people here at the bottom of Mount Sinai were totally freaked out by the shine of the glory of his exposure to the glory of God he says what a contrast it is for us who are in the new covenant because of Christ because of what he's done for us in 18. So we all with unveiled face it's not necessary for us to veil our faces anymore or veil anything to keep us from the glory of what the new covenant is what Christ has done for us. So we actually behold the glory of the Lord. And they couldn't behold the glory of the Lord reflected in the face of Moses.

But he says we are different. Well we see the glory of the Lord in the face of Christ. That's where Paul goes on in chapter four in second Corinthians when he says in their case 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 couple verses down he says for God who said light shall shine out of darkness is the one who is shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Yes.

Yes. And instead of the glory of God in the face of Moses that's the clear contrast he's making. This is the second Corinthian passage in three and four chapters three and four is probably the most closely tied to what we're reading right now in Exodus 34.

I mean it's a direct connection. And when Paul reads Exodus 34 right here what we're reading he sees the connection between the old and the new covenant and between the veiling and the not failing and between how we can handle the glory of God or not handle the glory of God. And so I'd recommend read chapters three and four of second Corinthians because you'll see this passage right here in Exodus 34 is the tight connection. And I don't know anywhere else in all of scripture where these two passages or this passage particularly Paul is literally writing commentary on this. Really giving us a bigger understanding because if you just read this Exodus passage you sort of get what's going on but Paul expands it for us. As a learned Pharisee he understands the Old Testament quite well and he understands the new covenant through Christ quite well and ties them together for us. The question is did Moses understand all of that? Really good question. You know we really don't know that. There's nothing in the text that indicates that.

It's written really from a very pragmatic point of view. Moses speaks to them. First he doesn't know his face is glowing.

He doesn't even know it. Right and there may be some theology in that too but when he becomes aware of the effect on the people he veils himself and then he keeps the veil on Paul says because the glory is fading. But when he comes in before the Lord because he now is in this relationship with God of acceptance God has shown him his glory in a very literal way. Moses said I don't need this veil in here God it's just you and me. I love that but when he comes out he speaks to the people and they see his face shining and then he puts the veil back on.

It seemed like they could tolerate it the first time right but then after that he reveals when he goes to them. I think it's nice to point out too going back to 2 Corinthians 3 it's pretty fascinating. We talk about the fading glory of the Old Covenant.

This is the law on stones. But Paul honors it in chapter 3. He honors the glory of the Old Covenant.

It's just passing is the problem. It had glory. But listen to what since you're experts now on the Ten Commandments and writing them on stone and stuff like that. Listen to what Paul says when he references the Ten Commandments as we're getting right here on Sinai and I'm reading out of chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians verse 7. He says now look if the ministry of death, which is what he called this, carved in letters on stone, we know what that is, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze on Moses' face because of its glory which was being brought to an end will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory. So when he characterizes the Old Covenant it has great glory but its glory is in the fact that it points out the problem of sin and it brings us to this idea that sin will bring death.

It's the ministry of death. So what I've always characterized the Old and New Covenant is the Old Covenant kind of specialized on the bad news. The bad news is all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

And if you want to find out if that's true, look at the law. Look what's written on those stones that he's carrying. Those are an indictment about the fact that we are all deeply and lethally flawed by sin and that's what Paul characterizes as the ministry of death. Now that's bad news but it's necessary news for us in order for us to find a Savior to bring us out of that. And that's what the New Covenant is, is that Christ has brought us out of that. And a New Covenant, and instead of having to have these stones that have the indictment of how far we fall short, now we have the very definition of righteousness written on our hearts, which means it doesn't indict us, it actually is part of who we are.

Righteousness is something that we want to be and he has created it inside of us. That's the thumbnail sketch of Old Covenant, New Covenant. But again, go back and read chapters three and four of 2 Corinthians. You'll see the connection to this whole exodus again.

Well and I would say even if you're reading in 2 Corinthians, press on through chapter five because Paul says at the end of chapter five, and this is the clincher about the movement from the Old Covenant into the New Covenant. Verse 21 of chapter five, he, God, made him, Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in him. So he became sin. He experienced the death that should have been ours, tore the veil and opened the way of the ministry of death into the presence of God. This is a monumental picture here of Moses and the veil and we have just bounced all over the place, but I'm hoping that what we've done has just stirred an appetite in you to dig into these things on your own. I hope you'll find yourself reading about the transfiguration, especially in the Luke account where Luke tells us that he was talking with Moses and Elijah and they were talking about his accomplished work, when he was going to depart, when his work was accomplished just before going to the cross or after going to the cross. So that tells us that this accomplished work of Christ is the pivot point between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. It opens the way for God's presence to indwell us and transform us from the inside out. And we can leave this taking Paul's admonition from 2 Corinthians 3.

He says the people of Israel couldn't handle the glory of the Old Covenant through Moses. But he says that's not true with us. We are bold. We are unveiled and we take the veil off. We're not restrained at all. We talk about how good the good news is in the New Covenant with Christ and the fact that we've been redeemed from the ministry of death. So he says we're bold.

That's his point in chapter 3. We are bold. We are not restrained. We are not.

In fact, let me read it. He says 12 in chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians, since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses. And yet I bring that up because often when we talk about Christ in secular culture, we feel like we need to veil who he is to some degree.

He's saying, nope, not for me. I'm bold about this because that's how good this good news is. No veils. We're bold. We're letting it all hang out. We're going to shine out. We're going to radiate out this light about who Christ is. Because it is such good news.

Such good news. Yeah. Well, hey, we are sort of out of time.

We did bounce around a lot, but this particular seemingly trivial little section in Exodus actually has gigantic connections with the apostle Paul and all he talked about. And with Jesus. Exactly.

Yeah. So next time, come back with us. We're actually going to start the process of building the tabernacle and we're going to chapter 35 and it's pretty exciting. So join us next time here 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. Special face. That's not good.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-26 14:13:51 / 2022-11-26 14:25:51 / 12

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