Ex. 33:12-23 SHOW ME THY GLORY
Intro: Ill. Moses and the difficult job assignment he was given by the
Lord. His duty was to lead a rebellious, self-centered, stiff-necked people through a
desert to the promised land. To get this job accomplished, Moses needed a close
relationship with the Lord. Now, when we come to chapter 33, Moses has just received the
10 Commandments and the Law from the Lord. He was gone for 40 days and nights while he
received the Law and while he was a way, the people made a golden calf, began to worship
it as God and committed terrible sins of immorality. When Moses came down from the
mountain, he saw what they were doing and threw down the stone tablets containing the Law
and broke them. Now, the Lord is angry with the people and He refuses to go with them into
Canaan, 33:1-3. Moses responds by reminding the Lord that the Israelites are God's people
and that if the Lord doesn't go with them, then Moses isn't going. So Moses and the Lord
discuss the matter and God decides to go with them and bring them into the land of
promise. Please don't ask me to explain all the things that happened in this chapter, all
I know is that the Lord is trying to work in the life of Moses and help him to grow.
When these things happened, it put Moses in a place of discouragement
and doubt. He needs something from the Lord if he is to continue to lead these people, and
so he asks the Lord to show him His glory. There is a word here for you and me tonight. Of
course, none of us have ever been given an assignment quite like the one Moses received,
but we have been called to follow the Lord and to represent Him in this world. At times,
this task becomes difficult and discouraging, and we need something from the Lord.
Something we cannot do on our own, something that will recharge our spiritual batteries
and that will rekindle the old flames of excitement and passion for the Lord. We refer to
that something as revival. We pray for God to send revival and all we are really asking is
for that which Moses prayed: Show me Thy glory!
Tonight, as we have time, I would like to give you some thoughts out of
this passage that speak to this need we have of seeing God's glory. I don't know about you
all, but I would love to see a genuine revival during my lifetime. I would love to see the
glory of God manifest itself in our presence. Let's spend some time together in this
passage as we consider the thought, "Show me Thy glory!"
I. 33:18 A BOLD REQUEST
A. 3:10 Moses' Duty - Moses was Divinely called
to the task of leading the people of God to Canaan. His was not an easy task. Often, his
leadership was called into question and his orders were disobeyed. I would not have wanted
to have Moses' job! Yet, Moses had a job that required faithfulness and dependability. He
had the task of walking in obedience to the Lord and His will.
(Ill. While our call may be different than that of Moses, every child of
God in this building has the responsibility of obedience and faithfulness to the Lord who
called us, saved us and keeps us day by day, 1 Cor. 4:2. We might as well facet he fact
that we have a duty to the Lord!)
B. 33:1-3 Moses' Discouragement - The people had
rebelled against the Lord again in chapter 32, and as a result, the Lord wanted to destroy
them at worse and remove his presence at best. They were in trouble regardless of which
way that one turned out. Can you imagine how Moses must have felt? He has done his best to
lead them and to follow the Lord's will and still all they do is complain, find fault,
bellyache and sin against the Lord. There must have been many times when Moses wanted to
throw in the towel and just quit!
(Ill. While we can never know the pain that Moses must have felt, we all
have those times when the load gets heavy and we get discouraged. We need to remember that
getting discouraged is not a sin. However, responding to it incorrectly can lead into sin.
I am just thankful that when I get discouraged, the Lord knows my need and my burden and
He is always there to help, encourage and to support - Heb. 13:5.)
C. 33:18 Moses' Desire - Moses had a heart to
know and experience God in a deeper and more profound way. Moses knew that the nation of
Israel could not meet his need. He knew that just working on his leadership skills would
not meet his need. Moses seems to know that the best cure for discouragement,
disillusionment and dryness is a fresh glimpse of who God is and what He is all about.
Moses mentions 4 areas where he desires to know God better.
1. His Ways - 33:13 - Moses wants to better
understand the way God operates so that he might serve Him better.
2. His Person - 33:13 - Moses wants to better
understand the Person of God so that he might enjoy a deeper fellowship with Him.
3. His Presence - 33:15 - Moses wants a clearer
manifestation of God's presence so that he might follow God better. This is a plea for
4. His Glory - 33:18 - Moses wants to see the
glory of God so that he will be moved to a deeper relationship in his worship life.
(Ill. It seems to me that what Moses is praying for is a revival! When
men experience a genuine move of the Lord, they also experience all of these great
blessings. Revival is close when we possess a desire to know God's ways so that we might
better serve Him; when we have a desire to know Him better in an ever-deepening
fellowship; when we long for His abiding presence to guide us day by day; when we want
nothing more that to see the glory of God revealed so that He might receive the worship
and praise that He is worthy of receiving. Moses request boils down to a request for
(Ill. Not everyone wants to experience this kind of a move of God! When
the Lord begins to move in a life or in a church, He has a way of rooting out sin,
selfishness and hypocrisy. Many are afraid of a real move of God! But, for those who
desire it and who are willing to seek it, it will change their lives forever! I wonder,
how many here this evening are hungry to see the Lord move in these days? How many are
willing to spend time in prayer, seeking the Lord's face until He comes in a genuine
revival, where His glory is revealed and His power is demonstrated? We need this tonight!
In fact, I believe it is the only hope for our country and for our churches!)
I. A Bold Request
II. 33:19-23; 34:5-7 A BALANCED RESPONSE
A. V. 19-20 A Promise - God tells Moses that He
will grant His request. Why? The answer lies in verse 17. Moses had found grace in the
eyes of the Lord! In other words, Moses hadn't earned this experience, it was the
Sovereign choice of Almighty God. We need to understand this evening that revival and a
genuine move of God cannot be earned, neither can we force the Lord to give it to us.
Those things are left in His hands. However, He does tell us that when we meet certain
criteria, then we can expect Him to show up - 2 Chron. 7:14.
(Ill. God can't give Him the full treatment, because Moses could not
experience the fullness of God's glory and survive. By the way, neither could we!)
B. V. 21-23 A Place - God tells Moses that there
is a place by Him where Moses can stand and see the glory of God as it passes by. That
place is a cleft in the rock.
(Ill. The lesson for us is clear! There is only one place where man will
ever see the Lord. And, that place is in Jesus Christ! He is the Rock, 1 Cor. 10:4. If we
want to see the Father, then we need look no farther than the Son! Notice what the Bible
says about Jesus, John 14:9; John 1:18; Heb. 1:3. All this is, is further proof of man's
need to abide in Christ, John 15:5. The closer we draw to Him, the closer He has promised
to draw to us, James 4:8. I am convinced that the true path to revival lies not in
meetings, evangelists, singing or fellowship, but I believe revival comes from an
ever-deepening fellowship with Jesus Christ! This is accomplished only through prayer and
study of the Word of God. Genuine revival will never come to the modern church until we
first put Jesus in the center of everything in our lives and love Him supremely. When we
get to the Place, we can count on God coming in among us!)
C. 34:5-7 A Presence - God did exactly as He
promised and visited Moses with His manifest presence! What a change was effected in the
life of Moses when this took place! Can you imagine seeing the glory of God up close and
personal? Moses did and it effected great change in his life.
(Ill. Every now and then, we get a small dose of the manifest presence
of God. Sometimes, He will come in and demonstrate His glory to His people. I have been in
services where God showed up in a mighty way. Can you begin to imagine what would happen
if this were the rule and not the exception? Can you imagine what church would be like if
the manifest presence of God were here? I think there would be less of us being involved
and more genuine worship of the Lord. I think we would be kind of like Thomas in the upper
room, John 20:24-28. What I am saying is that when a genuine move of God takes place in
our church, we will become lost in the glory of Jesus. He will be our focus and the center
of everything we do. I want this more than anything I know! How about you?)
I. A Bold Request
II. A Balanced Response
III. 34:8; 29-35 THE BLESSED RESULTS
(Ill. After this mountain top experience, Moses was never the same. It
appears that no one can come face to face with the Lord and remain the same. There will
always be some sign that you have been with God. Remember Jacob at Peniel, Gen. 32:24-32?
After his encounter with God he limped on his thigh. Saul of Tarsus was forever changed by
his meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 9:1-8; The Lord's Disciples were marked men
by having spent time with the Lord, Acts 4:13. There were some changes in Moses life as
well. Notice what revival produced in Him, and what it will produce in you and me.)
A. V. 8, 29 Produced Humility - when we see the
Lord as He is, we cannot help but see ourselves as we are! Ill. Many have very warped
views of themselves! We think we are much better and much more holy than we really are.
However, a good glimpse of God will change all of that and will produce genuine humility
in our lives. When we get humble, then the Lord can use us for His glory - James 4:10.
(Ill. Verse 29, Moses was the only fellow in camp who did not know that
his face glowed with the glory of the Lord! What a lesson! Those who think they have
arrived in holiness, humility and in power with the Lord, usually haven't. It is those who
think they are nothing and the He is everything who are the real humble ones!)
B. V. 8 Produced Worship - When Moses saw the
Lord as He really was, it caused Moses to fall before Him and honor the Lord. What we
think is worship, usually isn't! It isn't about singing, praying or preaching. Although,
all of those may be involved in worship. Genuine worship involves the heart above all. In
genuine worship, there us a desire to exalt the Lord, a desire to see Him receive the
glory He is worthy of receiving. When we experience a genuine revival and a genuine move
of God, we will see our worship change. It will change on an individual level and on a
public level. When it happens, it will all be about Jesus and nothing more. It will become
that which the Lord desires it to be, John 4:24. Let's face it, 99.9% of what we do can be
duplicated in the flesh!
C. V. 29 Produced An Outward Change - The
evidence of spending time with the Lord was all over Moses! What I see in these verses
tells me that Moses was never the same. It appears that his face glowed until his death.
This was a testimony to the rest of the nation of Israel that getting with God makes a
difference. Moses was a living, visible witness to the power of walking in the presence of
God. Folks, the same will prove true in our lives! When we walk with the Lord in the inner
sanctum of the heart, there will be evidence on the outside that we are walking with God.
Our face may not glow, but our walk, our talk, our lives will all bear witness to the fact
that we are walking with the Lord in His power and presence.
D. V. 34-35 Produced A Special Relationship With God
- There was a closeness between the Lord and Moses that could not have existed otherwise.
So it is with you and me, when we walk in genuine fellowship with the Lord, there is a
special relationship that develops. It does not mean that He loves one more than another,
but it does mean that He reveals Himself more to those who are walking in closeness to
Him. He will speak more directly through His Word. He will manifest His presence more
often in your heart. He will use you more wonderfully for His glory. These things alone
make walking with the Lord worthwhile.
(Ill. All of these things are the outward signs of inward revival!)
Conc: I am convinced that Moses' life changed forever on that mountain
top. He was God's man before he went up, but when he came down, he was revived and ready
to march forward for the glory of the Lord. Folks, this is what we need this evening! We
have enough stuff, we need God!
Sermon By Alan