Closing the Gap 8.13.18

By August 13, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 32 Day 1


Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.


Ex. 33:1-20 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. 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. Remember that this nation is your people.” The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 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.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”


Moses had a unique relationship with God.  He was singled out as a man to whom God spoke “face to face,” as friends do. “Face to face” is a figure of speech.  It means “in person” communication, in contrast to more impersonal ways of communicating. Friends don’t work through third parties to discuss important matters, because trust is high.  When trust is low, face-to-face communication is impossible and so is relationship. The trust relationship Moses had with God included intimate and direct communication. However, later in this same passage God told Moses that no one could see his face and live.  There is no contradiction here. In the first instance, “face to face” is a figure of speech indicating personal relationship. In the second instance, “no one may see me and live” is an actual experience. Stop and think about this situation. Moses, who was arguably as close to God as any man has been, could not look directly at God and survive the encounter.  It was not because God would kill him, but because the experience would be beyond his physical limits. What would this look like? It is impossible to say. Would his heart stop? Would his brain overload? Would he “fly apart” into basic elements? What is possible to say is that God is awesome, spectacular, and beyond human understanding. Many times in Scripture when people encountered God, they were nearly “undone.”  Most notably Isaiah: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple…Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty” (Isaiah 6:1, 5). Isaiah wrote that he “saw the Lord,” but he only got a glimpse or a vision of him. This was enough to “wreck” him.  Here we get a clue as to what might actually be the real threat to our existence if we were to see God in all his glory. Isaiah became so acutely aware of his own sin and the sins of all humans that he could not bear it. Perhaps the reason we cannot see God and live is because the great distance between his holiness and our sinfulness would be beyond our ability to endure. How different is this vision of God than the one commonly held today where humans take God to task and question his integrity because they don’t like the ways he gets things done?  Job tried to issue God a subpoena and take him to court, but in the end Job was on his face before God much like Isaiah. If we are to understand the good news of the gospel, we must continually reflect on the bad news of our sin. Our sin does not create a “bit of problem” for us. Rather, it creates an impossible, devastating, and deadly situation for us. The good news is that we, too, can have a “face to face” relationship with God. The bad news is that, apart from the gospel, our sin leaves us “undone” in the presence of God. Remember the bad news so you will rejoice more fully in the good news.


(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.


Leave a Reply