Moses’ Radiant Face
Open Your Bible
Exodus 34:1-35, John 14:8-11, 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Scripture Reading: Exodus 34:1-35, John 14:8-11, 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
I do not own an ice scraper. After all, I have lived in the South my whole life, which means I hold a deep-hearted commitment to sunshine and reject temperatures below 32 degrees. Still, every winter the roads in Tennessee will occasionally ice over and the ground will become covered with snow. On those days, I become so cold I think the logical part of my brain has frozen. It’s then that I almost believe in the magic of a snow day—that is, until I need to go somewhere, note my car’s frozen windshield, and remember the ice scraper situation.
A credit card or driver’s license is my go-to solution in this scenario, and they work! A little bit, anyway. Just enough to scrape a little peephole on the driver’s side and hope the rest will melt by the time I reach the stoplight on the corner. (Do not try this at home, friends. Maybe just stay off the roads.)
We are all navigating life through the tiny peephole of humanity, unable to fully comprehend the perfection of our Creator and see Him as He truly is. Day by day, we may be able to get where we need to go comfortably, forgetting the hundreds of glorious layers we cannot yet see. But when Moses goes to Mount Sinai to speak with the Lord, two stone tablets in hand, he has been chosen as a mediator between God and His people and will experience Him in a very significant way.
Moses sees “behind” God, taking in as much of His holiness and glory as humanly possible. God reveals parts of His character to Moses that Moses had never seen before, but it was confirmed through what God does next: He renews His covenant with His people. The covenant renewal does not signal a change in God’s heart between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Rather, it proves that He is always faithful. He is still full of compassion. He continues to abound in goodness, forgiveness, and truth.
As he descends from Mount Sinai, Moses’ face is radiant—a physical effect from encountering close communion with the glory of God. Onlookers are afraid of the way his face shines, and so he covers it with a veil, “so that the sons of Israel could not look at the end of what was fading away” (2 Corinthians 3:13).
The glory of the old covenant was fading away, but God had stored away His promises to His children in the new and better covenant. The old had gone, the new had come, and His mercy extended through it all. The faithfulness of a steady God remained the same.
Today, you and I probably find ourselves looking at the world through worried peepholes instead of fixing our eyes on God, asking Him to show us His glory in our day-to-day lives. And yet, even though we don’t have an ice scraper to reveal His layers of perfection in the same way, we know we are surrounded by the safety of His covenant. His promises still stand, even for us. Praise the Lord.