HOUSMAIL HM#057 - SHOW ME THY GLORY (Exod 33:18-19) 6 May 2000 __________________________________________________________________________
When Moses said to God, "Show me thy glory", God's answer was "I will make all my goodness to pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name, The LORD". (Exod 33:18-19)
Down through the centuries, men who weren't there to see what Moses saw, have continued to engage in theological warfare about what they insist THEY would have seen if THEY had been there!
For those who really must try to resolve that question, the best Biblical answer I can offer, is what Moses did NOT see! (John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12.)
However, if that is all we ever resolve about the passage in Exodus, we will have missed the mark by a "million miles"! The really important thing is NOT what Moses SAW, but what Moses HEARD!
Of course we weren't there either when God spoke the words to Moses that revealed his GLORY. But we can know what Moses HEARD! That is very plainly written in Exod 34:6-7.
"Name" in Hebrew is "shem", which also means "character". (Moral Likeness)
In answer to Moses, God revealed His "GLORY" - not as anything related to His physical form - but as the MORAL LIKENESS associated with the name YHWH.
This "GLORY of God" revealed to Moses, is the MORAL LIKENESS which was an essential element of God's creation plan for mankind, when He made Adam.
The point over which many seem to stumble, is that while it is possible to create an IMAGE from the dust of the earth, it is NOT possible at all to create men with both a FREE WILL and the MORAL LIKENESS of God, in the same way! That is something which, even for Jesus, could only be learned through OBEDIENCE. (Heb 10:8)
Adam and Eve sinned and fell short of this GLORY, (Rom 3:23) when they succumbed to the serpents temptation "your eyes will be opened and you will be LIKE GOD!" (Gen 3:5 RSV)
The Serpent's lie was that they could STEAL a "short cut" to GODíS LIKENESS without OBEDIENCE! (This same lie is still being told, by the way, by the modern "prophets" of the false gospel of "cheap grace" - and many are still deceived by it!)
Paul takes up this theme: "We all, with unveiled face, beholding the GLORY of the Lord, are being changed into his LIKENESS from one degree ofGLORY to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (2 Cor 3:18) and, "Put on the NEW NATURE, created after the LIKENESS of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Eph 4:24)
Paul says that we have this treasure (the Gospel of the GLORY of Christ) in earthen vessels. (created from the dust of the earth?) We have it from "The God ..... who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the GLORY of God in the face of Christ." (2 Cor 4:6)
It is God's purpose to fill this with earth the same GLORY which He revealed to Moses. (Num 14:21)
If we will listen, we will hear the same things which reveal the name of God, from the lips of Jesus. (John 17:26)
The Good News preached throughout the Bible, is that God will do this by populating the earth with a PEOPLE who reflect that glory, in the same way that Jesus does.
HOW THAT WILL BE ACHIEVED, IS THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD! __________________________________________________________________________