God’s Glory in You
Exodus 33:17 to 34:7
March 2-3, 2019
Back in chapter 32, Israel had fallen into a really bad place. What had happened was, Moses had been gone on the mountain to receive the law a long time, and they had not known what had become of him, so they came to Aaron demanding that he make a god and so he took the gold from their earrings and a molten calf was made-- and these are your god that led you from Egypt, and what came next was a terrible thing. They partied it up.
When Moses came down from the mountain and saw the party, he became angry, he threw down the tablets and set this right. Well the next chapter 33, God said, “Send the people up to the place where I promised to give that land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob but my presence will not go with you. These people are such an obstinate, stiff-necked, rebellious people that if I went with them even for a moment this would not end well.”
What follows is a tremendous part of this story, because it says that when Israel heard this sad word, they went into mourning, they put off all of the ornaments, the jewelry, and whatnot that they had from Egypt. Moses set up a tent to meeting outside the camp and everyone who sought the Lord, could go out to the tent. Then whenever Moses went out to the tent of meeting, the people would arise and stand. Then when Moses would go out there, the pillar of cloud that presence of God that was seen in, would actually stand at the entrance of the tent to meeting and it says that, the Lord and Moses would talk like a man talks to his friend. I just think that is a beautiful picture right there. God and Moses talking like a man talks to his friend.
Moses interceded for the people and God saw the mourning and the worship and the respect and He said, “You know what, my presence will go, and I will give you rest.” Now when Moses heard this, it meant so much to Moses. Moses understood the significance of the presence of the Lord. He said, “If your presence does not go with us, do not take us from this place.” Then Moses asked them for something for himself, something personal.
Now, this is an interesting thing. If you could ask God for anything-- I mean if you had like one opportunity to ask God for that one thing, what would you ask for? I think that many people would answer that question by, asking for something for their own personal being, their own personal well-being. What did Moses ask for? Moses said, “I want to ask one thing, I want to know your ways because I want to know you.”
God was so pleased with that. In fact, in verse 17 that's where we're going to pick it up, the Lord said, “I will do this thing of which you spoke for you have found favor in my sight and I have known you by name. Yes, I will do this thing.” Then Moses decided he's going to ask for one more thing, and what he asked for was the greatest possible thing you could ever ask for. There is nothing higher than this. He said, “One more thing please, show me your glory. There is nothing higher. I want to see fullness of your glory."
I. Ask, Seek, and Knock
Now, this is so important for us because I tell you, the significance of the glory of God the significance of the presence of God in the life of the believer is going to be seen in these verses. He demonstrates what that glory is. Let's read this story we're going to begin now, let’s read it together, starting in verse 17 and we're going to add some versus in chapter 34 also. The Lord said the Moses, “I will do this thing of which you have spoken for, you have found favor in my sight and I have known you by name.” Then Moses said, “I pray, I'm asking please, show me your glory.”
The Lord said, “I myself will make my goodness pass before you.” He's describing now the manifestation of this glory is going to be this. My goodness will pass before you and I will proclaim the name of Jehovah before you, and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, I will show compassion on whom I will show compassion. He said, “But you cannot see my face for no man can see me and live.” The fullness of God's law is such that it says, that the glory of God is a consuming fire, no man can see. However, in heaven, we will see him face to face.
The Lord then said, “Now there is a place by Me, and you will stand there on the rock and it will come about that while my glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock.” Now I'm going to speak about that when we get to these verses on Wednesday because it's really important. Then He said, “I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by, then I will take my hand away and you will see my back with my face you will not see.” Chapter 34, He then tells Moses to make again those tablets bring them to the mountain and god will write upon them and replace those that were broken.
Jump down if you would to verse five, and the Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as it called upon the name of the Lord. Then the Lord passed by. Now he's describing the fulfilling of what he said before. The glory of the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, the Lord Jehovah, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness and truth, who keeps loving kindness for thousands. He's describing now the manifestation of God's glory.
He forgives iniquity and transgression and sin, it's to God's glory. Yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the grandchildren on the third and the fourth generations. What does that mean? It's very important we understand it and we're going to look at that as well. I want to go over these verses and see particularly the example of Moses seeking, wanting, desiring, I want more. I tell you this is a great example. In fact, the Lord tells us this, "I want you to ask, seek, and knock. I'm inviting you." God wants us to want more. “Show me your ways,” he said, “And then show me your glory.”
I tell you no one had seen as much of God's glory as Moses. No man alive has seen as much glory as Moses, more than Abraham, more than Isaac, more than Jacob, and yet he wanted more because he knew the significance of the greatness of God's presence and glory. I want more. Jesus gives us this great word in Matthew 7:7-8 where he tells us, “Ask. I want you to ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be open to you, for everyone who asks receives. God delights to answer that and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened. How much more will your father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask him.”
See this is important because it really goes to the core of who we are. Like what is it you want? What is it you really want out a life? Because many people recognize that there is a great void, there is a great longing, there is a great emptiness that many people are trying to fill. They're searching all their lives. Many people they search all lives and may never find the answer to the great empty void. See the thing is God made the soul and the soul is only satisfied in God who made it, and thus they ask for the wrong things. They're seeking in the wrong way, they're knocking on the wrong doors. God made the soul it is only satisfied and the one who made it.
A. God’s goodness is glorious
Then he describes that glory. And he says it this way, “I myself will make my goodness pass before you.” In other words, God's goodness is glorious. God is good. It’s one of the characteristics of God, the nature of God that is so important for us to recognize, what he does is good. I'll make my goodness pass before you and I will proclaim the name of the Lord. See the name of the Lord captures for us shows us the good heart of God for us. The name of the Lord is you go through the Scriptures you see the various names show us the good heart of God for us.
You need peace? He is Jehovah-Shalom. Do you need provision? He is Jehovah-Jireh. Do you need healing? He is Jehovah-Rapha. You need rest? He is Jehovah-Raah, God Our Shepherd. He said that His glory would pass by and then Moses would see the glory that follows behind. This is a great thing. Whenever God moves the impact, He leaves an impact. He impacts people's lives.
The same is true, of course, with us actually. Whenever we come and then indirectly, we leave some part of us. In other words, the impact of our nature and our character follows behind us. That's true with us as well. In other words, if you come into the living room and you see an empty bag of popcorn and empty glasses, and snack wrappers, you might say a teenager has passed by this way, or if you can come into the bedroom and you see there are socks and dirty clothes, and a towel on the floor, you might say a husband has passed by this way. You might say.
We leave an impact where we go. Seriously, what impact do you leave? Wisdom, do you bring wisdom? Do you leave behind peace? Joy, does joy come in the interacting? Do you leave behind kindness? When God comes, brings His glory, and God is good. He brings forth a transformation that's good. You then become good, because of God in your life.
Jeremiah 31:14. “I will fill the soul of the priest with abundance and my people will be satisfied with my goodness,” declares the Lord.
B. Be filled with His glory
Therefore, we see this example that Moses gives to us, be filled with His glory. Well, how is that in the life of the believer? This is one of the great distinctions between the believer in Jesus Christ and what they experienced in the Old Testament even in the days of Moses. He makes it direct comparison. Notice, 2 Corinthians 3: 7 and 11. Paul writes, “If the ministry of death in letters engraved on stones came with glory-- Paul writes here about Moses on Mount Sinai and the law that was given on the tablets and it came with glory. He says, “If the ministry of death came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face fading as it was.”
What is he speaking to? He's speaking of the fact that when Moses was in the presence of the Lord, there was actually a radiance of glory that could be seen with the eyes. This is an amazing thing. He's in the presence of the Lord and the glory was such that people could actually see a radiance of glory on Moses’s face. You could always tell Moses’s tent because that's the one that would be glowing at night. His glory was visibly seen.
Here's my point. Here's what you see. How shall the ministry of the Holy Spirit fail to be even more with glory, more? That is simply amazing. What is he saying? He's saying that in the believer there is a glory of the presence of the Lord. What He adds then in verse 11 is, “If that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.” He's talking about the Holy Spirit which remains if you've asked Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior, the very presence of the Living God is in you and the Glory of His presence is manifested in the transformation that God brings the result of God in your life. The near presence of God is within you this is how a relationship with God is made possible.
Now that God has made a way for a relationship, He wants you to draw nearer. He wants you to seek. He wants you to ask. He wants you to knock. He wants you to draw nearer, because the near presence of God, the glory of God annualize is everything. That's why He says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Psalm 73:27-28, “Behold, those who are far from you will perish. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.”
I tell you, this is important because there are a lot of things in this world, with which you can choose to fill your soul and it has everything to do with what you want. What you desire. What is it you want in this life? What is it you really ask? What is it you’re really seeking? What really drives you? You can have your soul alive and overflowing with the joy of the Lord or you can have a soul that’s sick. There's a lot of things in this world that will make your soul sick, even if they're sweet to the taste.
I remember a few years ago, I was in Africa. I’m going back this year. I was in Africa and I was speaking at a gathering of churches, there were several churches that were all gathered together. I was trying to make this very point, I was looking for an illustration. I realized right here is an illustration. There's a stream that was flowing through the city. Now, this is a city it was Kinshasa seven eight million people, something like this, huge city.
There's a stream flowing through it. Well, the thing is people would throw their garbage into the stream, people would use the stream as a toilet. A lot of poverty in the street, in the city, and people using it as the toilet, let's just say it “stinketh”. Here's this crowd of people and I said, “Now, question. Would you drink that water?” I wanted a response for them. “Would you actually drink that water?” They all called out, “No.” I said, “Well, what if we sweetened it with sugar? What if we took the water and put a lot of sugar in it, then would you drink it, is it sweet now?” “No.”
No. Why not? You won't drink it if you know the true nature of the thing. That's why they don't drink it. They know the true nature of the thing. Here's my point. There's a lot of things that people bring into their lives. There's a lot of things that people let's say drink from the world that if they knew the true nature of the thing, they wouldn't do it. They wouldn't drink it. If they knew the true nature of the thing, they wouldn't drink it. Of course, the nature of deception is to deceive.
Moses, he experienced the Glory of the Lord. He knew the true nature, what he had experienced. He wanted more. I want more. This is very important for us, because if you have yourself experienced the presence of God, you know how beautiful, how wondrous it is for the soul for you have a taste of heaven on earth. If you've experienced the soul that's alive, David says, “My cup overflows.”, then you know that you want more. God's Glory is greater than anything this earth has to offer like Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.”
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him decency? I tell you what, if none of this makes sense to you, if you’re here this morning and you do not understand what I'm saying, then perhaps you need to taste and see just how good the Lord is. Taste and see. You need to ask. You need to seek. You need to knock, and it will be given unto you. What is it you want? What is it you want out of this life? What is it you want out of this?
C. God is gracious and compassionate
God made the soul and God made the soul to be alive. Jesus said, “I have come that you would have life.” God wants you to live and to have life to the full. Then He describes His glory and He says, “I'll pass. I'll have my goodness pass by you, and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” God is gracious and compassionate. Now, when He says, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, I will show compassion on whom I show compassion He's speaking to the fact that grace and compassion is a gift. In no way is it earned or merited. God owes to no man. It's part of His nature, His character, it's His glory to give grace and compassion and the fact that it is unearned and unmerited speaks of an even greater glory. The fact that no one deserves it. To whom did God show grace and compassion?
If you look at the Scriptures, to whom did God give grace and compassion? There are many, the woman caught in the very act of adultery, caught in the very act. They dragged her out and brought her before the Lord and laid her down and they said to Jewish leaders, "We have a law and by that law, this woman ought to be stoned." "What say you?" Jesus responded. "Then let him who has no sin cast the first stone."
It says that they dropped their stones that were in their hands from the oldest to the youngest. I find that intriguing. If there was anyone there in that scene who had no sin, who could have thrown the first stone, would it not have been the Lord? He then said to the woman, "Woman, where are your accusers?" She looked up through her tears and her shame and she said, "There are none." "Neither do I condemn you, go your way and sin no more."
To whom did Jesus show compassion? The woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears. A Pharisee had invited Jesus to dinner and that woman could see Jesus reclining at the table and so she came in and she fell at His feet and tears streaming down her face fell upon His feet and she undid her hair which is an unseemly thing for a woman to do.
With her hair she dried His feet and it tells us in Luke 7:39 that when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him that she is a sinner." Jesus said to that Pharisee, "Simon I have a question, who loves more? The one who was given less or the one who was forgiven more?"
He said, "The one who's forgiven more." He said, "You've answered correctly. This woman loves much for she has been forgiven much. Go your way, your faith has made you well." Who did Jesus show compassion to? Levi the tax collector despised and hated by the Jews yet Jesus asked him and we know him as Mathew to be one of the very disciples of the Lord. To whom did Jesus show compassion? The woman on Samaria who had had five husbands and the man that she was then with was not even her husband.
It was to her that Jesus said, "True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For such people, the Father seeks to be his worshippers." The woman said, "I know that Messiah is coming and when He comes, He will declare all things to us." Jesus said, "I who speak to you I'm He." Jesus rarely came straightforward and said I am the Messiah but who did he say this to? The Samaritan woman who had had five husbands.
To whom did Jesus show grace? Zaccheus, the wealthy tax collector who had defrauded many. We know this story, it's made famous by a children song. That Jesus was coming to Jericho and there was a crowd and Zacchaeus who was short in stature wanted to see Him so he went up the road and climbed up into a sycamore tree and Jesus saw him there. He said, "Zaccheus, you come down for I'm going to your house today."
He didn't sing it but He came to the house of Zaccheus and then the tongues started to wag. Look at that, He is eating with sinners. That's just unspeakable. I will show grace on whom I will show grace. I will show compassion on whom I will show compassion. Who did Jesus show compassion to? The blind beggar, named Bartimaeus. He had a commotion and he said, "What is happening?"
They said, "The Lord passes by, Jesus." He called out loudly, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." They rebuked him, "You be quiet, who do you think you are?" But he yelled at even more, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." Do you know that no one had called Jesus the son of David to that moment? Here is a blind beggar who understood what the Jewish leaders did not understand.
For he knew that when the Messiah comes the blind would see, the deaf would hear, the lame would walk. He called out and Jesus in the crowd of the commotion he could hear, "Jesus son of David. Have mercy on me." Jesus stopped he said, "Bring that man to me." They came to him and they said, "The master calls for you." They brought him and presented him before Jesus and Jesus said, "What would you have me do for you?"
The man knowing that the Messiah would bring sight to the blind he said, "Sir, I want my sight." You shall have it. To whom did Jesus not show mercy? To whom did he not show mercy? To the Pharisees who were so hard of heart that they had the unmitigated goal to accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, Satan himself. Yet they knew very well that he was coming from God.
You know how we know this? Nicodemus who also was a Pharisee who came to Jesus at night, John 3 said to Him, "Rabbi we know you are from God. No one can do the things that you do unless he had come from God." Then Jesus spoke kindly to Nicodemus. The Pharisees knew very well, and they had the goal to say that he cast out demons by the power of Satan himself.
Jesus said, "This is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This sin will not be forgiven." You see John 9:39 Jesus said, "For judgement I came into this world so that those who do not see may see and that those who see may become blind. I will show grace to whom I'll show grace and I will show compassion to whom I show compassion." It gives God great glory, great glory when you see whom He gave His grace to.
II. God Blesses the Generations
Then you go down to chapter 34 and this is what we see that God blesses the generations. It's part of His glory. When He declares the name of the Lord Jehovah, the Lord God compassionate and gracious slow to anger, abounding and loving kindness he describes His glory. Abounding in truth, it is He who keeps loving kindness for thousands who forgives inequity and transgression and sin.
A. He keeps lovingkindness to thousands
This is so important He describes His glory then says, He keeps loving kindness to thousands and that word loving kindness is a very important word in the Hebrew. It's the word hesed you go to say with a little throat, hesed. It's a beautiful word and it means, His unending love. His faithful love, His enduring faithful hesed love.
He extends His hands to all generations and He says, "To His glory He forgives inequity and transgression and sin." Each of those means something different. He forgives iniquity. It refers to the distorting of the nature of the character of a person. He who has sinned so long that it has distorted their character, He'll forgive that. Transgression means to trespass, to cross that line, and it should not be crossed. He'll forgive that. It's to as glory and sin, which means to offend. It's a disregard of God's word and the New Testament. It's the falling short of the glory of God, of missing the mark, I'll forgive that. It's to the glory of God.
Our response is love and to draw nearer, but then it says that God visits the iniquity of the fathers to the third and fourth generation. God visits, it says, even the fourth generation. This is important because many have misunderstood this and they start with saying, "They are generational curses because of the sins of the fathers." Well, first of all, God does not put a curse on anyone.
Let's start with that.
B. God visits even the fourth generation
Secondly, the word visiting the iniquity of the fathers, the literal translation is he takes an account of the sins of the fathers regarding iniquity. The bending of the character. See, that's what we inherit. We inherit the mindset, the attitude, the bending of the character that passes from generation to generation. Many understand this. My father was an alcoholic. I inherited his tendency. That's why I cannot drink. I will not drink. I cannot drink.
When I was in college, I understood it very well. I don't know what sipping means. I can't drink. I bent, but would this end? I will visit even to the third and the fourth generation. Will this end? I'm compassionate and gracious. Slow to anger, and I've given you a way to be free. I've given you the very presence of the living God. I've had my glory manifested in your life. Can this end? Yes, this can end.
In fact, He says in Ezekiel 18:14 and 17, "Now behold, a son who has observed all his father's sins, which he committed and observing them does not do likewise. He will not die for his father's iniquity, he will live." Many people even in this room, raised in environments that were not helpful, hurtful even. There's an old expression, hurt people, hurt people. Will this end? He said, "I've given you my Spirit.
I've given you my glory. I've given you the very presence of the living God. Do you not see that I will make your soul alive and that when I come with my Spirit, I bring my goodness, I bring my transformation of nature and character to your life. Let this end, let me transform your life.". What is it you want? What is it you want out of this life? God made us all and the soul is made alive when they draw near to the one who made it. The glory of the Lord is transforming power. Ask, ask, seek and knock.