Moses in the Cleft of the Rock
Bible Text: Exodus 33:8-11 and 18-23 | Speaker: Pastor James Zaebst
Exodus 33:8-11: While the people looked on at their tent doors, God talked with Moses face to face as a man would talk to a friend. But God took the appearance of a “cloudy pillar.”
Exodus 33:18: Moses desired a more intimate relationship with God. He desperately wanted to know God in a more personal way.
Exodus 33:19-23: The best that God would do for Moses was to give him a mere glimpse of His Glory from the safety of a crack in a solid rock. Moses desired (without even knowing it) the Incarnation.
Before the Incarnation, God appeared as a flame of fire or as an Angel of God (Exodus 3:1-5 and Genesis 22:10-12).
You cannot have a loving relationship with a “cloudy pillar,” a “flame of fire,” or even an “angel.” A loving personal relationship is only possible for us with another person.
God made this possible through the Incarnation (Colossians 2:9).
God has to fashion Himself into a man (Philippians 2:5-8).
God became a baby boy that we might love Him (Luke 2:1-8).
He became a man that He might be “with us” (Matthew 1:23).
Christ’s birth let us know God as a person (John 14:8-11).
Apart from Christ, God is unknowable (John 4:24).
Apart from Christ, we are no better off than Moses, and God is only a cloudy pillar, a flame of fire, a blinding light, or a frightening angel.