One night I was sitting down with my wife and we were having a heart to heart conversation regarding the wonderful things that the Lord has done for us in our past experience. As we were sharing these things with each other, my mind was immediately drawn to a beautiful truth I had never really conceptualised. Yet the more I dwelt among this truth, it became clearer and clearer, until that Sun of Righteousness illumined my understanding of the Great and Wonderful Love the Saviour had for me in the great plan of redemption.
It often happens when I meditate upon the word of God, that these beautiful truths of the Gospel come to me, and I find that a deeper understanding of God’s Love for us is revealed. The truth was in regards to the Glory of the Lord.
When Moses asked the question “…I beseech thee, shew me thy glory…” The LORD Replied to Moses request and said thus:”… I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” Exodus 33:18-19.
The LORD continued and said: “…Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:20-23.
Here we see that The Lord told Moses that he would show him his “…goodness…” and that it will pass before him. Moses was not permitted to see his face, but rather that the Lord had a place prepared for him. He was to stand upon the rock. At the appointed time the Lord would put him in the cleft of the rock and would cover Moses with his hand. While Moses would be covered with the Lords hand, he would pass by. He then told Moses that when his hand would be taken away that he should see the Lords back parts, but his face he could not behold.
After breaking the tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments, the Lord had command Moses to hew two tables of stone to like unto the first. The Lord then commanded Moses to be ready in the morning to come up the mountain, to present him before the rock of ages. Moses was to go alone, with none by his side.
When the Lord revealed to Moses his Glory, what did he see? What was it that the Lord proclaimed? We read:
“And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Exodus 34: 5-7
What a beautiful thing to behold! What a privilege to see that which no mortal eyes can behold. God’s Goodness was revealed to a man, in who walked steadfast with his Maker and Redeemer. Here Moses, after hewing the stone, the Lord writes upon that stone his covenant and reveals his Goodness to the prophet. But tell me, where did Moses see this Glory? What was he standing upon? Where did the Lord place that prophet whom the Lord used to deliver the children of Israel from Slavery and bondage? He was standing upon the Rock. He was placed in the Cleft of the Rock. In the Mercy of the Lord, he covered that prophet’s eye with his hand as he passed by. God’s Glory was revealed to Moses from his back parts.
The Rock of Ages is the Lord, it is he that guided the Children of Israel in that Glorious Cloud. The Apostle declarses it as thus: "And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." 1Cor 10:2-4. The Psalmist also declares concerning the Lord himself: "For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me." and "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." (Psalm 31:3 & 40:2). Here we see, that these figures of the Rock in which Moses Stood upon and in the cleft of the Rock in where the Lord placed Moses was pointing to the Lord, the Messaiah, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
As I pondered upon this theme, I could picture God’s beloved Son, in whom took upon his shoulders the sins of the world. I saw that the weight of the cross was heavy upon his shoulders. I could see that those hands which only offered service for mankind, was pierced with the iron nails. I could see that brow which angels would have found the highest joy to place a crown, wore a crown of thorns. Here was the saviour of the world, in whom said upon the cross “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
As Jesus hung upon that cruel cross, what was upon his back? There they were the stripes from whence flows that crimson blood. There they were, the scars that tell of the plan of salvation in bring man into harmony with Jehovah. There they were from whence my sins were laid upon, becoming white as snow. And where did Moses see the Glory and Goodness of the LORD? In his back parts.
What a beautiful thought in that the Glory of the Lord was in his back parts. The Goodness of God was in giving his Son to the world, so that we may have eternal life with him. If we extend this picture in greater detail and in a magnitude of value and honour, here is what we see:
“Before the universe has been clearly presented the great sacrifice made by the Father and the Son in man's behalf. The hour has come when Christ occupies His rightful position and is glorified above principalities and powers and every name that is named. It was for the joy that was set before Him--that He might bring many sons unto glory--that He endured the cross and despised the shame. And inconceivably great as was the sorrow and the shame, yet greater is the joy and the glory. He looks upon the redeemed, renewed in His own image, every heart bearing the perfect impress of the divine, every face reflecting the likeness of their King. He beholds in them the result of the travail of His soul, and He is satisfied. Then, in a voice that reaches the assembled multitudes of the righteous and the wicked, He declares: "Behold the purchase of My blood! For these I suffered, for these I died, that they might dwell in My presence throughout eternal ages." And the song of praise ascends from the white-robed ones about the throne: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." Revelation 5:12.” Great Controversy 671
In Context of the account from the great controversy, Judgement has been set. All will receive his reward, for eternal life or eternal damnation. The sentence has been pronounced, and God and his Son are exalted.
After judgement has passed and the wicked are no-more, no-more sin, no more sinner no-more stain, here is what we see:
“One reminder alone remains: Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory: "He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His power." Habakkuk 3:4, margin. That pierced side whence flowed the crimson stream that reconciled man to God--there is the Saviour's glory, there "the hiding of His power." "Mighty to save," through the sacrifice of redemption, He was therefore strong to execute justice upon them that despised God's mercy. And the tokens of His humiliation are His highest honor; through the eternal ages the wounds of Calvary will show forth His praise and declare His power.” Great Controversy p674
Wonderful Saviour, Mighty to Save, Beautiful and Glorious, full of Goodness and Grace. Mercy belongs to thee and none other can it be, that My God, My Lord and My Saviour, gave his Life a ransom for me.
Who am I to say that I have done any good, what is there to know but a Saving Lord. What a Friend he is to those who call upon his name, and will one day live with him without any burden or shame.
Until we see his glory, all else is but vain, Let us be filled with that holy and wonderful name. The name of Jesus, Gods only begotten Son, so that when we see our father in heaven he may say “I Love you my child, Well done”.