Exodus 33:12-33 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” Imagine someone approaches you asking to explain to them what a pen is. Now you might be confused or even crack a smile thinking it might be a joke. When you start to explain you might start with the physical form, how to use it, what it is used for, or maybe compare it to something similar. If done properly the person will leave with an understanding of what a pen is. Imagine the same scenario but instead of explaining what a pen is you have to explain what beauty is or the difference between left and right or describe what water tastes like. Now, this seems almost impossible but understanding that some things are almost impossible to explain will help you to understand the glory of God. Understanding the Glory of God Thinking about a great king and the glory of his reign shows us what we understand about glory, but how do you explain the glory of the Great King to our God? Trying to explain the glory of a God that is an infinite, immutable, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent is almost impossible. In scripture, we quite often stumble upon the glory of God but we do not understand it and this leads us to not marvel or stand in awe of God. The truth is, gaining an understanding of the glory of God will help us to glorify Him as we should. John Piper attempts to define the glory of God as the following, “The glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of God’s manifold perfections.” In Isaiah 6:3, Isaiah sees the angels singing to God about His holiness but proclaims how the earth is filled with His glory. We see in Exodus 33:19, that Moses asks to see the glory of God, yet God shows him His goodness and proclaims His own name. To understand the explanation of John Piper, even more, we see that the glory of God is a manifestation of His Holiness, goodness, and His own name. Understanding a bit more of the glory of God is important but even more important is experiencing the glory of God for yourself.
Friends of God
Moses, who got to see the glory of God, was a friend of God to whom God spoke face to face, Exodus 33:11, and this relationship that God had with Moses, gave Moses the confidence to ask in verse 18, “Please show me your glory” as he desired to see the glory of God. Moses was a friend of God that got to experience the glory of God but yet not see His face. In John 15:15 Jesus is talking to his disciples and calls them His friends. More than 2000 years ago our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died on a cross and rose three days later. This allowed us to be reconciled with God and become not only sons and daughters of the living God but also become His friend. (John 1:14) Through the power of Christ and the words spoken by Him we are friends of Christ, which means we are in a relationship with the same God Moses was and we can also now see the Glory of God.
Glory Changes You Seeing the glory of God will change you. It is impossible for you to stay unchanged once you see the glory of God. Jesus Christ, came down to earth to reveal the light of the Gospel of the glory of God, (2 Corinthians 4:4), and we see this when He tells Phillip that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father, (John 14:9). So in the heart of the Gospel, we find the glory of God, as Christ came to reveal that glory. The glory of God, also shown by God as His goodness, Exodus 33:19, will lead us to repentance. (Romans 2:4).Now that the Gospel is revealed the Cross gives us the confidence to come into the throne room of God. (Hebrews 4:16) In the throne room, we come to receive the mercy we need and stand in awe and reverence with the angels about the Glory of God. (Psalm 19:1) Come in This explanation was merely an attempt to explain the infinitely glorious God we serve. To see that the glory of God is not hidden from you, start by accepting Christ, walk in a relationship with Him, allow God to proclaim His glory before you, and then enter the throne room. In order to stand and marvel, singing with the angels “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8) In conclusion, these words of John Calvin are quite fitting as he writes, “The glory of God shines, indeed, in all creatures on high and below, but never more brightly than in the cross.”