Saturday, March 30, 2013

God's Glory

Tomorrow is, by the calendar, Easter Sunday. Someone recently asked me why Easter is not at the same time each year so here is the easiest explanation I found: Easter is always the first Sunday after or on the first full moon, after the first day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and the first day of Autumn in the Southern hemisphere.

But in my heart this week I have been thinking of Easter, not because of the technicalities of what time of the year we celebrate but because of Who we celebrate on this day. I have been thinking in awe of a God Who would come to earth and take on human flesh, live as a pauper instead of the King He really is, then after living a perfect, sinless life, die a hideous death to pay for the sins of all people in time past, present and future, and finally do what no one before or since has done...raise Himself from the grave in power and glory! And definitely not because any single one of us deserved to be saved, but just because He loves us so! Oh, what a Savior is mine!

This week the ladies Bible study group I study with each Spring and Fall finished yet another Bible study by Beth Moore. This one was "Deuteronomy: the Law of Love". Because God gave the law to Moses, he (Moses) was of course an important figure in this study. In the last lecture we studied about the last part of Moses' life and his death. I think that's what really got me to thinking on the glory of God.

We talked about how there finally came the day when God came to Moses and told him He wanted Moses to come up to Mount Nebo, look at the Promised Land, and then die. (Deuteronomy 32:48-52) Remember that Moses was not going to be allowed to enter the Promised Land because he had disobeyed God in the wilderness by striking the rock for water instead of speaking to it as God had told him.

Those of you who have had Beth Moore's classes know what an active imagination she has! During this lesson she got really dramatic wondering HOW Moses died up on Mt. Nebo once he had finished looking over the Promised Land. "Did he fall off a cliff?" "Did God PUSH him off a cliff?" "HOW did it happen?" She was amusing and we all laughed at some of her suggestions. But then afterward I began to think and use my own imagination. I remembered Moses being on a cloud covered mountain alone with the glory of God while God gave him the laws for the people. "And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights." (Exodus 24:16-18)

Then there was the time after the people had built a tabernacle for God according to the instructions He had given Moses. "And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend...". (Exodus 33:9-11)

God spoke to Moses ''face to face'' but we have to remember that God's glory was obscured by a thick cloud covering the tabernacle. Farther down in chapter 33 Moses says to God (verse 18) "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory." God responds to him (verse 20) by saying, "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." So God put Moses in the cleft of a rock, covered him with His Hand while He passed by in all His glory, then took away His Hand so Moses could see his back. But He told Moses (verse 23) "my face shall not be seen."

After thinking about the life of Moses and his very unique relationship with God, I wonder if MAYBE....just maybe God took Moses up on Mt. Nebo, showed him all the Promised Land and then....removed the veil and showed Moses His face! MAYBE God revealed to Moses ALL of His glory right then and there and it took Moses' life...just like He had said to Moses that "there shall no man see me, and live."

Well, that's just my idea but it makes my heart swell to think about it! And then on top of all that, to think about this same glorious God dying for ME so that I can go to heaven and see His complete glory myself....well, it's almost more than I can take in this day before Easter! In the great "love chapter" of the Bible...1 Corinthians 13...verse 12 tells us "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." I am so much looking forward to that day when I shall lay down this old body of mortal clay and enter into the joys of heaven where I will see Jesus face to ALL His glory!...and live forever!



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

My group has not yet done the Deuteronomy study but we plan to at some point. I'm sure it is just as wonderful as all of her other studies.

I like your theory about how Moses died. What a way to die! Oh, that we could go the same way.

elaine@ peace for the journey said...

I love your heart on this one, Marilyn. Never given the "how" much thought, but this is a good pondering. One of the "insights" I've had into this particular scene in Moses' life has been the idea that God gave Moses a gift that day - the gift of not having to linger in the "what might have been"; after looking over at the Promised Land (all that could have been his), instead of God allowing Moses linger in regret, he immediately ushers him into the throne room of heaven. Talk about a view of the Promised Land!

Anyway, just a little nugget to add to yours. Thank you for sharing. Love you dearly.