Moses was a gutsy guy, some would even say cheeky or daring or even a bit crazy. You have to hand it to him though; he never stopped asking for more. And amazingly, God seemed not only to put up with him, but to reward him. There is a great passage in the book of Exodus where Moses makes the most outrageous request of God. Moses had already seen God’s miracles in Egypt. He had seen the Red Sea become a dry highway of escape. He had spent time on top of Mount Sinai hearing and receiving God’s revelation. And we read this remarkable passage about Moses’ meetings with God in the tabernacle:
Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting… When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses… Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:9-11)
Stop a moment and consider what this is saying, that God would speak to Moses like a man speaks to his friend! For me that would be enough. I would be so excited, so humbled, so…so…well words actually fail. Needless to say I would be satisfied to just sit and talk with God. But here is where Moses goes above and beyond. This is not enough for him. Moses wants more. More! What more could there be? Moses asks the unthinkable:
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-23)
There it is, “Show me your glory.” It seems that the more time Moses spent with God, the more he wanted to experience God, the more he wanted to know, the greater the hunger. This was at the heart of Moses’ ridiculous request. Yet God was happy to grant the request – within the limitations of what humans can deal with. “Yes,” answers The Lord, “I will show you as much as you can handle starting with my goodness. Then proclaim My Name.” God wants Moses to know His character – Good. He also wants to establish a personal relationship based on His name. He wants Moses to know Him by Name.
Well, we might think, that is all well and good for Moses but it doesn’t do one bit of good for me. I don’t think that is true. The lesson here is for us. I think that it is still true that the more time we spend with Him, the more we will want, the hungrier we will get. And I believe that God will satisfy that desire. He will meet us and reveal to us as much as we can handle. And while Moses had that unprecedented access to God while the rest of Israel watched from the sideline, we, now, have that full access – any one of us. He has made a way for us into His very throne room. He has removed the curtain that separated His presence from His people. We not only have access, we have an invitation to meet Him.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:19-21)
So, I would encourage you, be bold. Ask your Father for more. MORE! We want to see your glory. He has already revealed His Goodness and His Name – Jesus – and He will talk to us “as a man speaks to his friend.”