EXPERIENCING A GOD MOMENT
God has informed Moses that He is about to reveal His Glory to him!
I guess when you are older than time (or The One who invented time in the first place) you don’t get all in a rush to do all of the most important things in a very quick and hurried way. You slowly prepare and patiently get ready for the big moment; planning and examining the path before you very carefully. You like for everything to be ready; and in the exact and proper order before the events begin to transpire, unfold and happen. After all; it is a special time. Special times should be savored and enjoyed and not rushed.
There seemed to be a whole special agenda prepared ahead and set aside for this special day when Moses visited with God. God had thought of everything and everything was set in place.
As well as revealing His Glory, which was the most exciting and important part of this day for Moses; God also had planned a few other things to accomplish in this meeting.
He was going to restore the stone tablets containing the ten commandments which Moses had broken in anger upon returning to the camp and finding the people worshiping the golden calf.
Have you ever thought about the fact that Moses physically broke those tablets and it created a perfect portrait of how mankind would spiritually break them? Only God Almighty would ever be able to pick up all those pieces and put them back in order and make everything new again.
But that is what God does; He fixes brokenness and makes it all like new again.
Thank you for joining our ongoing, on-line, every Thursday Bible Study called COME AS A CHILD. The scriptures for this Lesson 183 can be found in Exodus, Chapter 34. If you missed last week’s lesson; you may review it here: SHOW ME YOUR GLORY! – COME AS A CHILD – LESSON 182.
SOME THINGS JUST HAVE TO BE DONE ALONE
God told Moses to chisel out two more stones and bring them up to the mountain so that He could rewrite the ten best ways to live.
Moses was told to come alone and to present himself to God on the top of the mountain. No one else was to be there; not even any of the flocks were to be grazing at the bottom of the mountain.
Just God and Moses.
That was it.
Sometimes that is how it goes. God will give you a chore that only you can carry out. You and you alone; no one else. That is how it works sometimes and it is left up to all of us to pick up our mission and walk up that mountain all alone and address the issues that God has on His mind.
Your brother can’t do this for you.
You don’t need an audience or a crowd’s approval. This is a “God Moment.” It must be done however God instructed. You need to be communicating directly with God and no one else.
Others can pray for you and encourage you to move; but only You can take that step out into the area that requires great faith. Only you and God can get you there.
Some days are like that; and Moses was living one of those days.
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO CLIMB HARD MOUNTAINS
How do you think Moses felt walking up that mountain for probably the hundredth time, and this time going all alone?
The first time he had Joshua with him halfway up. He would have been there to carry Moses back if the rope didn’t hold or his foot slipped and he broke a few bones. Now there was no Joshua.
Just God and The Mountain and Moses.
Moses was a mountain climber.
If you are going to experience the depths of God’s glory; you must learn to be a mountain climber too.
It isn’t a place for whimps, or people who are not brave enough to walk by themselves all the way up some treacherous slopes and trails.
GOD REVEALS HIS NAME
So early the next morning, just as instructed, Moses trudges up to the top of Mt. Sinai with the two chiseled tablets in his hands.
The LORD came down in the cloud and stood before Moses and proclaimed his name; THE LORD.
Exodus 34:6-7 speaks about this:
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
Why do you think God announces his name first thing?
God was answering Moses’ request. He was beginning to reveal His Glory. He was revealing some important and intimate parts of Himself to Moses.
His Name is part of His Glory.
His Name is The Name above all names.
God had revealed His name to Moses before at the burning bush; but this was like an underlining of the importance of who He is; a very firm reminder to Moses that He is in the presence of the most powerful deity that every existed, or ever would exist.
I am reminded of the words of Jesus when Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” The scriptures tell us that Jesus replied, “Philip, I have been with you all this time and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say ‘Show us the Father’?”
Do you think Jesus could have actually been remembering Moses too when He addressed Philip that day? Why did Moses want so bad to SEE God’s Glory when he had been living right in the midst of it for so long? Did he not realize that God had been with him through everything so far?
So God comes down anyway and humors Moses and He proclaims His name loud and clear so Moses in his humanity can be sure that He is God.
The name also carries a description in its meaning; as most Hebrew words/names do.
We need to note here that our modern bibles use LORD to record the name of God, because at some point and time people decided that the actual name of God was too sacred to write down or utter out loud. They started to substitute other words and modern translators began to use LORD to say YHWH in lieu of making a wrong pronunciation of the name of God that has no vowels and cannot ever be uttered properly without guess-work on our part.
In later times; we have finally begun pronouncing it Yahweh. This is the name that God was now proclaiming as He came down in a cloud on the mountain in front of Moses, the name represented by the Tetragrammaton (four letters – Yod Heh Vav Heh) which was transliterated into Roman script as Y H W H.
I read these words about how God proclaims His name to Moses and think of someone announcing the coming of a King. Remember how this worked in olden days when a certain person from a king’s court would walk ahead of royalty and proclaim who they were as they walked down the street and entered the villages? The servant of the king would shout out with loud fanfare that The King was coming! They would always give the King’s name and his title and the people would step aside and make way for the presence of royalty.
Moses was forewarned that the royalty of Yahweh, The Great I AM was passing by!
I suppose God was also making it plain to Moses that He was exactly who He claimed to be. His name expressed exactly who He was. The name of God in Hebrew in this passage translates to mean Yahweh, which means “I AM.”
THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
It is interesting that right after announcing and proclaiming who He is; God proclaims his wonderful attributes of grace, compassion, patience, abounding love, faithfulness and forgiveness to thousands.
This is one of the very few places of the bible in which we find God actually describing Himself in detail; as if He wanted to share all that He is with Moses. Moses had asked for God to reveal His Glory, and that is just what is happening. God is chatting with Moses here about exactly who He is and what He is like.
Like most of us in talking to our best friends; God gives the good stuff first; then He gets to the sometimes hard to swallow part of who He is and what His nature is made of.
He notes that He also punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.
Do you think this surprised Moses? Does it surprise you? So much for only one generation being punished for that sin of idolatry!
A VERY OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE
But let’s examine this nature of God a little closer and think about what this passage really means.
Will a gracious and merciful God actually punish the children for the sins of the fathers up to the third and fourth generations?
This is God speaking. We need to listen up like Moses and discern exactly what He means. We need to pay careful attention to every word and not misunderstand because the faith of many depends on the proper interpretation. Every single word of God and every single movement of God matters. God never wastes His breath or His movements and for some reason the first thing He proclaimed here was all about how He was loving and merciful and forgiving; then BOOM; He announces that some children will be punished for generations!
Doesn’t that sound a bit strange to you?
God first proclaimed that He forgives thousands for their sins. He does. All of those who repent are always forgiven; the problem is that often some people never repent!
Those who never repent cannot be forgiven.
It is just that simple.
Those fathers who do not repent and turn will pass their erroneous ways on down to the next generation who usually repeats the pattern. We tend to follow the ways of our fathers, don’t we? What if everyone followed the way of their Heavenly Father and everyone repented of their sins? Then there would be no children suffering; because there would be complete forgiveness from God!
My point here is that generational curses are not punishment from God; but they are punishments we put on ourselves because we fail to repent of our sins. God is always merciful and forgiving. All we have to do is ask.
These are only a few of the things that God was revealing about His nature to Moses as they talked up on the mountain.
WHEN GOD PASSES BY
Do you think that Moses “caught” these things that God was showing him about who He really is and what His Glory is actually made up of as he stood breathless and waiting to catch a glimpse of God’s back as He passed by?
Do you think these things sunk in as he stood on that rock next to God?
Do they sink in with us? Have we repented? Will our children have to suffer from our own patterns of unrepented ways or will they learn more about the nature of God and be forgiven and allowed to move on to the Promised Land?
Aren’t we all a little like Moses; so caught up in the moment of trying to get a glimpse of God passing by that we can’t seem to listen to what He is revealing to us of His character and attributes all along?
Are we all a bit like Thomas who needed to see with his own eyes and witness a physical appearance of God’s Glory before he could begin to believe and put it into practice?
Let’s listen up. God is about to do something very important! We will be able to retain more if we listen as well as see.
In John 20:29 we can read what Jesus has taught us: “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
SEEING WITH THE EYES OF FAITH
Sometimes you must climb that mountain all by yourself and face God.
When you get there, don’t fret or worry about what you see with your physical eyes; just be sure to open the eyes of your heart and believe.
You will be blessed beyond measure as Yahweh; The Great I AM, passes by.
He will hide you in the cleft of the Rock, and cover you there with His hand.