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From a Burning Bush to a Radiant Face

“You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with Me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with You...Then Moses said, ‘Now show me Your glory.’” (Exodus 33:12-13,18, NIV)

I love taking time at the beginning of the year to reflect back on what God has done in the past twelve months and dream ahead for the year to come. This prayer of Moses has been on my mind for several months now, but seemed especially apt for the beginning of a new year.

Moses himself is at the beginning of something new. The Israelites are out of Egypt and God is in the process of giving them the laws, explaining what it will look like for them to be His people. Moses isn’t sure what all is coming, but he knows he’s responsible to keep leading these people and that he needs help doing it (v. 12). So he reminds God that God knows and favors him (words that beautifully parallel the Father’s affirmation to the Son in Matthew 3:17) and asks for more...more knowledge, more favor and more of God.

What an audacious thing to ask! Especially when you consider who Moses was about a year prior to this conversation. Out in the desert, caring for his father-in-law’s sheep, the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush and Moses “hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God” (Exodus 3:6). God told Moses He would give the Israelites favor with the Egyptians and that He Himself would go with him, but Moses begged Him to “send someone else” (Ex. 4:13). God sent him anyway: He plagued the Egyptians, parted the sea, led by cloud and fire, rained down bread from heaven, brought water out of a rock and, most importantly, spoke with Moses face-to-face, as a friend.

And so it is a very different Moses up on the mountain a year later with God himself. Instead of wondering, “Who am I that I should go?” (Exodus 3:11), he clings to the knowledge that God knows Him and is pleased with him. No longer hiding his face in fear, he boldly asks to see God’s glory. May God grant to each of us the kind of transformation He worked in Moses’ life and the desire and courage to ask to see His glory.

Warmly in Christ, Lena Larsen

For Reflection

“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.’” (Exodus 33:17, NIV)

  1. Moses uses God’s affirmation of him as a springboard for his requests to God. What words or acts of God from the past year give you confidence to ask for more of Him in the year to come?

  2. Where have you experienced God’s transformation this past year through His interactions with you and work around you?

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