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Exodus 33:17-34:9

Glory is Beautiful on the Soul

  • Rich Jones
  • Weekend Messages
  • July 31, 2022
  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Glory is Beautiful on the Soul
Exodus 33:17 to 34:7               
July 30-31, 2022

The presence of God is described as the glory of God, often described as the brilliance of light. When Jesus took Peter, James and John up to a high mountain, He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

What a powerful description of God’s glory.

The book of Revelation describes the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven to a new Earth, having the glory of God, her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. There is no need of the temple there for the Lord Himself and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or the moon for the glory of God illumines it, and the lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.

When Moses was with God on Mount Sinai receiving the law and commandments, he was standing so near to God’s glory that there was a visible light of glory on his face.

Moses pitched a tent a good distance outside the camp and called it the tent of meeting. Everyone who sought the Lord could go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp.

Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would arise and stand, gazing after Moses until he entered the tent. And whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the entrance of the tent. There the Lord would speak with Moses just as a man speaks to his friend. Whenever the Lord and Moses met at the tent of meeting, the people would stand in worship, each at the entrance of his tent.

Moses interceded for the people of Israel in the tent of meeting. God saw that Israel had put off the ornaments from Egypt, He saw them when they worshiped, He saw them going to the tent of meeting themselves and He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” This meant so much to Moses that he added, “If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from this place.”

 Moses then asked for something for himself, something personal, “If I have found favor in your sight, let me know your ways, that I may know you.”

In verse 17, God answered, “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.” Moses had the boldness to ask for one more thing. “Please,” Moses said, “show me your glory.”

Moses had seen more of God’s glory that any person alive and he knew there was yet more. He knew that God’s glory was beautiful on the soul. God responded, “I Myself will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.”

This is one of the most important stories of the Old Testament because it touches the very center of our relationship to God. To understand the significance of the glory of God and the presence of God in your life, is to understand some of the deepest truths in our relationship to God.

I.  Ask, Seek, and Knock

  • Moses wanted more. He wanted to know God more deeply, “Show me your ways, that I might know you.” God was pleased, “I will do this thing of which you have spoken.”
  • Moses then asked, “Please, show me your glory.” There is no greater request; there is nothing higher than this.
  • No one had seen as much of God’s glory as Moses and yet he wanted more. God is pleased when you want more of Him.
  • He wants you to ask for more, to seek for more, to knock and it will be opened to you…

Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, 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!”

A.  God’s goodness is glorious

  • God said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.” God reveals His glory through His goodness.
  • God speaks of all His goodness and then says, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.”
  • The name of the Lord speaks of the goodness of the Lord and gives the answer to your need. Do you need peace? He is Jehovah Shalom. Do you need provision? He is Jehovah Jireh. Do you need healing? He is Jehovah Rapha. Do you need rest? He is Jehovah Raah – God your shepherd.
  • He said His glory would pass by and Moses would see the glory that follows behind God.

Illus – What follows behind you? The impact of your nature and character follows you. When you come into the living room and see an empty bag of popcorn, empty glasses and snack wrappers, you might say, “A teenager has been here.” Or if you come into a bedroom with socks, dirty clothes and a towel on the floor you might say, “A husband has passed by this way.”

  • But seriously, what follows behind you? Do you leave wisdom behind you? Kindness? Joy? Peace? Goodness?
  • When God comes into your life, He leaves His glory. God is good and when His goodness is in your life, you become good.
  • In other words, the goodness of God is the glory of God and its beautiful on the soul.

Jeremiah 31:14, “I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” declares the Lord.

B.  Be filled with His glory

  • 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.

3 Corinthians 3:7, 11, If the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, 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, how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? …For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.

  • In other words, the near presence of the living God resides in the soul of every believer in Jesus Christ; the Spirit of the living God is in you.
  • That is how a relationship to God is made possible; and now that God has made a way for relationship, He wants you to ask, to seek, and to knock. He wants you to draw near.

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.

  • There are many things in this world with which you can choose to fill your soul. It all has to do with what you want; what you desire.
  • You can choose to have your soul alive and overflowing with the joy of the Lord or have a soul that’s sick.
  • There are many things that will make your soul sick, even if they are sweet to the taste.

Illus – On a trip to Africa I spoke at a large gathering of churches and made this very point. There was a stream that flowed through the city near to where I was speaking. Many threw garbage into it and used it as a toilet. I said, would any of you drink that water? No, they shouted back in answer. Not even with sweetener added? The answer of course is no. If you know the true nature of the thing, you don’t want it.

  • Moses wanted more of God’s glory because he had experienced enough of it to know that the presence of God meant everything. God’s glory is greater than anything this earth has to offer.

Psalm 34:8, O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

  • If none of this makes sense to you, perhaps you need to taste and see that the Lord is good. You need to draw near to God. Ask, seek, and knock, how much more will God give the Spirit to those who ask.

C.  God is gracious and compassionate

  • Verse 19 – “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”
  • God’s grace and compassion is a gift. In no way can it be earned or merited; He gives grace and compassion because it is His nature. It is His glory.  The fact that it is unearned and unmerited speaks of even greater glory.
  • To whom did God show grace and compassion?
  • The woman caught in the very act of adultery – “Woman, where are your accusers? Neither do I condemn you, go, and sin no more.”
  • The woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears –

Luke 7:39, 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.”

  • Levi, the tax collector, despised and hated by the Jews, yet Jesus asked him to become one of his disciples.
  • The woman of Samaria who had had five husbands and the man she was then with was not her husband – Jesus said to her, “True worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming, and when He comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus responded, “I who speak to you am He.”
  • Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector who had defrauded many. Jesus said of him, “The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.”
  • The blind beggar named by Bartimaeus – when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus called for him and said, “What you want me to do for you?” “Rabbi, I want my sight.”  “And you shall have it,” Jesus said.
  • To whom did Jesus not show mercy?
  • To the Pharisees who were so hard of heart that they had the unmitigated gall to accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, though they knew very well He had come from God. “This is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and will not be forgiven.”

John 9:39, Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

II.  God Blesses the Generations

  • When the Lord’s glory passed in front of Moses, God proclaimed the character of God’s nature. “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.
  • This is important to understand because there have been many who have misunderstood and has created confusion in the church.

A.  He keeps lovingkindness to thousands

  • His ‘chesed love,’ His faithful love, extends to thousands. He offers His love to all and extends His hands out to the generations.
  • He forgives iniquity, transgression and sin. This is His glory; this is the proclamation of His name. Each of these words are used because they each have a different meaning.
  • Iniquity means to bend, twist, or distort. It is most serious because it speaks of the character of a person who has sinned so long that it has bent their character.
  • Transgression means to trespass, to cross a line that should not be crossed.
  • Sin means to offend, and it refers to the offense of disregarding God’s Word. In the New Testament this word is used to mean, one who misses the mark, who falls short of the glory of God.

App – forgiving iniquity, trespass, and sin is a result of His love to thousands and we are to respond with love toward Him in return.       

B.  God visits even the fourth generation

  • This scripture is important because some have taught that there are generational curses because of the sins of fathers.
  • First of all, God does not put curses on people.
  • Second, the word ‘visiting’ the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the grandchildren literally means to take an accounting. It’s important to see that this is regarding iniquity – the distorted heart, the weakness toward an area of sin.

App – It says He visits the ‘iniquity.’ This is the mind-set, the attitude, the bending of the character that passes from generation to generation. I have my father’s tendencies, but it does not need to continue.

          “Will this end? I am compassionate and gracious and slow to anger. I have given you the way to be free, will you come to Me and be changed by My presence?” asks the Lord.

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

  • Ezekiel, the prophet explains…

Ezekiel 18:14, 17, Now behold, a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing, does not do likewise… He will not die for his father’s iniquity, he will surely live.

  • Some people want to blame their parents for the difficulties in their lives.
  • We may inherent a character that is bent toward a particular sin, but God has made a way to heal the character of your heart.
  • Find healing in Christ and seek the deeper things of God. Be filled with the glory of God and the joy of His presence and you will be truly changed.


Chapter 33
17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” 18 Then [a]Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” 19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” 21 Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place [b]by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”
Chapter 34
1 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Cut out for yourself two stone tablets like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered. So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and [c]present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain. No man is to come up with you, nor let any man be seen [d]anywhere on the mountain; even the flocks and the herds may not graze in front of that mountain.” So he cut out two stone tablets like the former ones, and Moses rose up early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and he took two stone tablets in his hand. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as [e]he called upon the name of the Lord. Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and [f]truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” Moses made haste [g]to bow low toward the earth and worship. He said, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though [h]the people are so obstinate, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your own [i]possession.”

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