Some of the most beautiful, memorable, and alarming pictures in Scripture are the visions of God experienced by His people. When Isaiah saw the Lord “high and exalted, seated on a throne,” he cried out, “Woe to me! I am ruined!” (Isaiah 6). Ezekiel saw a figure like a man but who was glowing like hot metal, full of fire, surrounded by brilliant light, and with a rainbow’s radiance. The prophet fell face down on the ground (Ezekiel 1). The apostle John saw the risen Christ in similarly stunning imagery and fell at His feet as though dead (Revelation 1).
How amazing, then, that God met with Moses and spoke with him many times “as one speaks to a friend” (v. 11). Moses set up a “tent of meeting” outside the camp for inquiring of the Lord (vv. 7–10). Anyone could do so, though Joshua was probably guarding it against wrong-hearted intrusions. Only when Moses met with the Lord did the pillar of cloud signifying God’s special Presence descend. At those times, the Israelites would stand in the doorways of their tents and worship.
What did God and Moses talk about? One topic was leadership (vv. 12–13). Keenly aware of his responsibility to lead God’s people, Moses asked God to be his teacher. Only by drawing near to the Lord could Moses fulfill his calling. A second topic was guidance (vv. 15– 16). Moses asked God to be present and faithful as they journeyed to the promised land. To both requests, God said, “yes” (vv. 14, 17).
In light of the visions cited above, Moses’ request to “show me your glory” was bold indeed (v. 18)! God graciously granted it as far as it was possible to do so (vv. 19–23).
>> Meeting with God is precious to us as well, even if it doesn’t happen in such a dramatic way. One way you can spend time with God is by praying back Scripture to Him. Why not pray using verse 13 from today’s reading?
If You are pleased with us, Father, teach us Your ways so we may know You and continue to find favor with You. Remember that we are Your church, the bride of Your son, Jesus Christ.