Day 31

The Lord’s Glory

Exodus 33:1-23, Genesis 3:8-10, Numbers 6:22-26

There’s Advent and then there’s Lent—two pivotal seasons of waiting, forever marked on the Church’s calendar. Advent culminates with the celebration of Christmas, and Lent rounds out with Easter. But these seasons are not the same. They feel different in that one looks toward a birth, and the other a death. Yes, the beauty of the resurrection is right there on the heels of the cross, but while Advent has a decorative spirit to it with lights and carols and all that Christmassy stuff, Lent is about un-decorating, stripping away the unnecessary. Plus, Lent occurs in the dark deep of winter while you’re doing your taxes, so yeah.

If you try to honor the season, Lent can get long and exhausting. That’s how we find Moses in today’s texts: worn out and weary in his own sorta Lent-like season. Sure, he’s a hero of the faith, but these verses remind us he was also a man like us, a man who’d just about run out of gas. He needed a pick-me-up, a shot of inspiration, some kind of a sign that God cared and would be with him in days ahead.

Then Moses said, “Please, let me see your glory” (Exodus 33:18).

You have to give Moses guts-points. He just asked for it. And he got it, but on God’s terms. It wasn’t God’s face Moses saw, but God’s backside as He passed by. In other words, instead of a static moment, Moses saw the glory or essence of God move by. God was on the move, so to speak, and that was enough for Moses to experience in order to then get up and lead the people to their journey’s end.

Maybe the season of Lent is wearing on you. Or maybe you’re simply in a Lent-like season that feels like it’ll never end and you’re just plain pooped. But you’ve still got all your normal responsibilities, plus those taxes to file and that snow to shovel. Why not go for some guts-points? Straight-up say to God, in a Moses-like manner, “I need to see your glory.” C’mon, what do you have to lose?

Just remember, God’s response will be on God’s terms, probably not as you’d expect. But you just might get a glimpse of God passing by. It might be some grand, unmistakable sign. Then again, it might be something faint, along the lines of a breeze. But the Lord’s glory, regardless of its expression, always carries this message: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (v. 14). And that is sufficient for you and me to carry on.

Written by John Blase

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2 thoughts on "The Lord’s Glory"

  1. Rich says:

    Oh to be in the presence and see the glory of our loving Father! All else seems to fade away, stresses become smaller, worries disappear, and an other worldly peace settles in. Like the Israelites in the dessert it is difficult to wait, and a sort of spiritual amnesia takes over when trials come. But that is when I long for the hand of God to hold and protect even more. I will trust in You.

  2. Kyle says:

    This chapter and devotional came at a perfect time. Lent has definitely been wearing me down. This past week I’ve found myself a lot more focused on just pushing through, and counting the days until Easter when I can finally get back to what I’ve given up. I’ve had a lot of doubt, “I gave up too much, so I should just take it down to one and not worry about the other stuff for the rest of the time. It’s not worth it.” My prayer today is that for the remainder of this time, I will lean into God’s presence, to focus on him rather than what I’ve given up for a Lent and find rest in him.

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