Moses’s Radiant Face
Open Your Bible
Exodus 34:1-35, John 14:8-11, 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
The alarm clock startled me awake at 6:00 AM. This was an optimistic time. I grasped for my phone on the nightstand and hit the snooze button. I laid there and wondered, “How long do I have until the baby and big kid are awake?” I think to myself; today will be different.
Today will be the day I don’t run out of patience with my seven-year-old. Today will be the day I will have a good attitude. Today will be the day I show extra grace to my husband. Today will be the day I pray more. Read more. Serve more. Exercise more. Do more. Be more.
When my eyes open on a Monday, these thoughts run especially rampant. Do you recognize it? The striving that happens in our minds after being awake mere seconds. I wonder if Moses felt this way. The overwhelm must have mounted on his shoulders each day as he led millions of grumbling people while being a sinner himself.
Moses was asked to go up to the mountain again after the failure of his nation. Did he wonder how God would respond? Did he think this would be the time God finally realized His mistake in choosing him?
No one but Moses was allowed near the mountain. Not even the animals. God is set apart, holy. Untouchable. And yet, He drew Moses near. He relented the disaster that would have been justified to unleash on the Israelites.
He could have, at the least, turned a cold shoulder. Instead, He laid a warm blanket of truth and glory over Moses:
“The LORD—the LORD is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin.” —Exodus 34:6–7
Moses left that mountain changed. He didn’t realize it, but “the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the LORD” (v.29).
We are beneficiaries of the new covenant and have direct access to Jesus. Which means we have also seen the Father (John 14:9).
When we fail again and again, where does that leave us? When each day feels like a repeat of the day before. When we bore a hole in the Scripture memory index card on the windowsill while washing dishes. When we offer up ragged, short prayers of help and thanksgiving. When we apologize to our kids again after reacting in anger.
What should we, as sinners, expect after an interaction with a holy God? We can expect to be changed. He is transforming us from one degree of glory to another; our sanctification is not a burden to Him. Our slow growth does not disappoint Him.