Moses – Freeing Yourself to Know God

Lesson 8: “Face to Face With God” Exodus 33:1-34:17


“Then Moses said, 'Now show me your glory.'” Exodus 33:18


A crisis experience

·        Do we ever stop and consider the difference between the experience of learning about God and the experience of getting to know God? Do we ever let the Holy Spirit touch our hearts, and not just our heads?

·        Through this crisis here at the foot of Mt. Sinai, we see Moses' relationship with God reach a new level of intimacy. God was so angry He wanted to destroy the Israelites, but Moses pleaded for them, and God actually changed His mind.

·        However, God made it clear that the sin had its consequences. God said He would not go with them any further (33:3) He would no longer manifest His glory as in the pillar of cloud and fire. He would not personally dwell among them

·        Finally, something got the attention of the Israelites. They were distressed by this news (33:4-6)


A place to meet God

·        Though God said He would no longer go with the Hebrews, He was still available. Before the tabernacle was constructed, Moses put up a tent outside the camp (33:7-9) God is always available to those who sincerely desire a close fellowship with Him. Obedience is the key, though. (See Rom. 12:1-2; what do these familiar verses say is necessary to meet with God?)

·        Moses had a special relationship with God. Remember Jethro's advice, that Moses should be a mediator between Israel and God. Moses had that special closeness with God. But now we see that relationship deepen. Moses communicated with God as a friend (33:11) What's more, God listened to Moses!

·        Moses expressed a desire to learn more about God's ways (33:12,13), God said He would be near Moses. But, Moses asked that God not withdraw His presence from all the people (33:15) How far Moses has come, from how will I do it, to how can we do it without God! Also, Moses recognized that if the people wouldn't listen to God, why would they listen to Moses (33:16)


The glory of the Lord

·        Upon God's reassurance, Moses requested to see God's glory (33:18) Why?

·        God said it was not possible to look on Him directly, but there was another way (33:19-23)

·        God appears there on Mt. Sinai again, and notice Moses' reaction (34:9)

·        God makes a new covenant with Moses, and promises to do wonderful things (34:10). But, God would not tolerate idolatry. Israel would need to take steps to distance themselves from pagan influences (34:13-17) Failure would bring serious consequences (Deut. 4:23-28)

·        Do we realize what a privilege we have as Christians? Think of this awesome holy experience Moses had with God. We can have that same face to face meeting with God through Christ!!! (See Hebrews 4:14-16) We don't need to go to a tent on the outskirts of town to find God.

2 Principles


#1) God has made it possible for all people to enter into His presence and to meet with Him "face to face"

#2) God is merciful and wants to live in constant fellowship with His children


For next week read Exodus 34:27-35