A. W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God: “Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.”
In today’s reading, Moses used his close relationship with God as the basis for a bold request to know Him even better: “Show me your glory” (v. 18). Clearly he had come a long way since that initial conversation at the burning bush! All God had told him then had come to pass, and Moses and the people were on their way to the Promised Land. There had been setbacks such as the golden calf episode, but the relationship between God and Moses was so strong that it was like one friend speaking with another. God’s presence, symbolized in the pillar of cloud, was visible to the entire community when He met with Moses. During these conversations, everyone stood in the entrance of their tents and worshiped.
What did God and Moses talk about? Moses interceded for the Israelites and asked for divine strength to sustain him in his leadership. Most of all, he requested God to teach him about Himself. The Lord granted Moses’ prayers, including his bold request, showing him His glory but at the same time protecting him from being destroyed (vv. 19–23). The accompanying message stressed God’s sovereign grace: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (v. 19). What a privilege to be in a relationship with the loving Almighty!