Moses with tablets

By Joshua Stevens, Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice

For many reasons, placing a person on a pedestal only leads to disappointment. A good example of this is even found in Moses. He was chosen by God to lead, he experienced the presence of God, and despite such qualifications, he still fell short of God’s glory. His congregation still made a golden calf to worship instead of the YHWH who brought them out of Egypt. 

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.” And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” Exodus 33:8-13

For reference, this interaction between Moses and God takes place just after the people of Israel create a golden calf to worship while Moses is on Mt Sinai. Fearing that Moses had lost his way or been killed in the fire (Exodus 32:1), they made a god of their own from the gold that they owned. The Israelites were punished then God met Moses in Moses’ tent to speak to him (Exodus 33:10-11). It is during this interaction in the tent we get verses 33:8-13; from this, we can pull 3 key points.

First, note how Moses was being honest and open with the Lord several times Moses asked for help. Specifically, he asked the Lord first to, “Show me your ways…” Then, ending this section by asking “Please show me your glory.” 

How in our own lives do we invite the Lord to show us His ways? What may it look like in your own life? 

Second, be mindful of the golden calves that may arise in life and in your congregation. When Moses’ congregation was afraid, they turned to idols made from the gold they owned. While God’s mighty hand worked within eyesight upon a mountain, the Israelites turned to a constructed god they were comforted by. In times of stress or fear, where do our eyes turn to first? In our congregation are there times when we place the gospel on the back burner for an election or festival?

Third, be bold in your requests. Moses is just a man tasked with leading his people. His congregation had committed a great sin (Exodus 32:30), and after repentance, he returned, and asked to see God’s glory. From the failure of his people, Moses landed a response of humble adoration toward YHWH who gave them freedom and guided them. How precious a response, when we sin and repent could we too ask to see God’s glory. In our congregations when we err do we repent and ask to seek the ways of the Lord? 

This lesson from Moses teaches that when we fail, we should repent from our sin, renew our commitment to living in the ways of the Lord, and request that the Lord be with us.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn from those who have come before us. That you did not hide the stories from the foundation of our faith but instead allowed for each word to be used as a guide toward You and Your glory. Thank you that we have such a vast array of knowledge from which we can learn anything we need or want. I ask that as we continue throughout this month that we will remember to repent, renew, and request. We will wake up and be able to ask you to show us your glory and that you will meet us in that place and every place with opportunities not only to experience your goodness but to be able to proclaim the saving gospel we have with all who are around us. 

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen. 


¹ Crossway Bibles. (2001). The Holy Bible English Standard Version. Wheaton: Good News Publishers.

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