It was routine but I can’t wrap my mind around it: Moses and the Lord’s daily encounter in the sacred space. Free of charge, day to day, yet like anyone, Moses wanted more. In what may be weightiest demand of God by man—Exodus 34—Moses dares God to reveal Himself. To really reveal Himself: fullness of glory, in broad daylight! This same man that jumped back from the burning bush and rattled off insecurities always and once feared eye contact with God Himself, in a flash of valor, “Show me more!” Moses dares Him to show up before he takes the Lord’s people a step further. What a request of the Almighty.
This Moses—who tags along and walks in step with his Rabbi, who bears a caliber of intimacy rare and enviable and infinitely more than just 40 day-nights at the Sinai summit—he gets what he begged for. The holiest encounter, just ordinary him and the Lord in all His wild glory. No earth-shaking or rolling thunder. Still every speck of His infinite brilliance rolled by tucked-away Moses, slow and steady, and proclaimed His own mighty name. Moses can’t help but fall facedown, bowing low in raw worship and wide-eyed wonder.
And when he stands? He’s resplendent. God-glory rubbed right off onto Moses.
He treks down from there radiant–because time with the Lord leaves you looking a whole lot different. He descends carrying a new covenant and a new shine, gathers all of influence and tells them everything the Lord told, taught, and promised. The faith-light Israelites take notice. God restored their belief—He knew they just had to see Him to obey Him, to trust Him, to follow Him. The people see Moses’ shine and remember the God that rescues and goes with and they start to trust Him again. So Moses covers his face fast, veiled so those trailing behind can’t see his shine fade to underneath nothing-special, so they’re stuck remembering glory alone.
Keeping up with Moses’ journey towards the Promised Land makes me way thankful I live this side of the cross. I’m not cut out for the Old Testament–and I’m sure thankful for a cross and a new covenant. The Cross handed me all day, always access to my God. Grace’s good news meant the living God invades every tent that lets Him, that my nothing-special is where His Spirit chooses to settle. When Christ defeated the grave, and the curtain ripped in two, my Moses veil was ripped right off my face. Grace made me a living, breathing, New Testament tent of meeting on the move. Unlike Moses, I am not stuck re-earning my right to maintain this Spirit, my right to encounter my God firsthand. Instead, I bear a Holy Spirit deposit that walks with me and whispers forever reminders of the good stuff. Instead, I’m called to keep off the veil because when my my humanity peeks out and my resplendence fades, Grace shows up loud and clear. It tells the world I’m needy and desperate, that I’m just plain dirt that divinity chose to touch down on. He sends me out from His sacred space a modern-day Moses, that they might notice the shine He let stay on me. It’s in our unveiling, undoing, unraveling that He makes Himself known.
we all, who with unveiled
faces contemplate the Lord’s
glory, are being transformed
into His image with ever-
increasing glory, which comes
from the Lord, who is the Spirit
| 2 Corinthians 3:18 |
I’m promised all day encounters with the God of Moses and me–that I’ll look more and more like Him each time we meet. Veil-wearing is exhausting, and says the Cross didn’t do enough. So I’ll walk with borrowed resplendence, proudly unveiled and point to Grace when my shine fades to ordinary Layne. I’ll rally alongside the glory-bearers, as we all with unveiled faces transform into Glory’s likeness. I won’t fight His undoing.
Continue making relevant thousand-year-old stories. Teach me to sit and savor and come out of each encounter shining. Palms up—don’t let me pick up and put on what covers up Your shine.