God's Mercy

Exodus 33:18-19

Michelangelo's Moses, Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, Italy.

Photo by Fr. Barry Braum / Unsplash

Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And God 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.”

Exodus 33:18–19, ESV

Moses and our God had an extraordinary relationship. A common expression is that they would speak face to face. However, this only means that Moses was in the presence of the Lord because we know, if we read just a little further, that Moses did not, nor could he look upon the face of God at this time. God is all-powerful, but we know that in Jesus, we are now able to look upon the face of God. Prior to the birth of Jesus, The veil between humanity and God was kept. God’s greatest act of mercy was the sending of His Son, Jesus the Christ, in order to free us from the bonds of sin and open the path for us to fully enter into His glory. Still, God was very visible to the people of Israel in the wilderness, and Moses did not just meet with God on the mountain but within the Tent of Meeting, where God would descend and cover the entrance to meet with Moses. God and Moses would speak, and the dialogue did not just go in one direction. We have the Word to reveal God’s will to us, and this is how He speaks to all who will hear. May God speak audibly to followers? Of course. God’s Word, however, never contradicts, and He has given us a full revelation with which to reveal His will to us all. In Christ, we find the full revelation of the Word, and in Him lies all salvation. The mercy given to us through Jesus is how the path has been opened to those who are not originally our Lord’s chosen. As Moses later peered on the backside of God, I could only imagine what He saw. I wonder if it may have been the disfigured backside of our Lord Jesus Christ pointing to what He took for us before heading to the Cross. 

Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.


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