How many of you remember the story of Moses found in Exodus 33 ? To paraphrase, Moses is talking to God and in verse 18- And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
Because no man can see God’s face and live, God puts Moses in the cleft in the rock, covers his face as He passes by, then allows Moses to see His back.Later on in Chapter 34, it says when Moses came back to the camp the people were afraid because his face shone like the sun. His face shone so brightly, that he had to wear a veil when speaking to the people
I have to tell you, I have always thought it was in that encounter with God’s glory that Moses had a physical transformation as he reflected the image of the Lord. However, earlier this week I was studying this passage, I saw something else that I had read a bunch of times before, but had not really grasped. Exodus 34:28-29 And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
The phrase that jumped out at me was “he was there with the Lord 40 days and 40 nights.” Moses did not reflect God’s image because of a single encounter with his glory, but rather after an extended time in His presence where he did nothing but commune with Him. He had no other interaction, he didn’t even eat and drink. He just spent 40 days and nights listening to the voice of God and spending time with Him.
So often I think we try to get by with momentary encounters with God. We experience His presence, get charged up and go about our lives until the next time we have an encounter with Him. But that’s not enough and that doesn’t bring change and transformation to our lives.
See even after Moses came back from his time on the mountain, he would still go to the tent of meeting and commune with the Lord. It says Exodus 34:32-35 that when Moses was speaking to the people he would wear the veil, but then he would go back to spend time with God and would remove it.
Rather than living from brief encounter to brief encounter, let’s instead develop an intimate relationship, a lasting relationship, with our Savior.