It looked like the failure of Adam and Eve had closed the door to deep human intimacy with God. Ejected from the Garden, people were forced to make their own way. Sure, God would still speak and guide, but it was more as a wise teacher than an intimate friend. But this was not the whole story. In the Old Testament, we find occasional characters who were incredibly close to God. Oh, not everyone by any means. These companions of God stand out. One of them was Moses. Ex. 33:11 says, “The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” At one point, Moses asked God, “show me your glory” (Ex. 33:18). Well he got his wish and experienced the lost intimacy and beauty and glory of the Garden. and he was so full of this glory that all his
followers could see it.
SCRIPTURE: EXODUS 34:29-35
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.
When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.
I wonder what Moses looked like after spending time with God. His appearance changed so much that people were afraid to come too close to him. But Moses’ radiant face was merely a symbol of the beauty and power and holiness of God that rubbed off on him as he talked with God his friend. He was transformed by the presence of God and his followers could plainly see it.
But inevitably the radiance faded. Moses set up a special tent where he would go to meet with God. But in between these intimate conversations, he found that God’s presence slowly faded away in his life. That is why he wore a veil (2 Cor. 3:13). He did not want people to see that he no longer reflected God’s glory as much, that the radiance was disappearing.
There are at least two truths that are reflected in this narrative. The first is that the presence of God is both possible and transformative. If Moses could be a friend of God, so can we. We’re children and heirs of God, which is even better. As we spend time with our friend, it makes a huge difference in our lives. We live better. We believe better. We love better. We lead better. This is personal revival. God’s presence and glory filling our lives. And it will show.
The second truth is that God’s presence fades. The grubbiness of our world rubs off on us. Our tendency to live independently increases. The attraction of sin grows. And so the glory of God in our lives dwindles. Fortunately, we do not need to head off to a tent to meet with God. But we do need to intentionally live in his presence or God’s reviving glory will wane.
Lord, may I be a Moses who is so filled with your glory that other people notice you in my life. I really do want to be transformed by your presence so please give me strength to live close to your heart. Right now may your presence fill me as I talk with you my friend.
PRAYER FOR REVIVAL
There are many people in our community looking for hope and reality. They don’t know it yet, but they are searching for you. Please unify your church and fill us with your presence so that our community may see your grace and goodness and power and love through us.