Exodus, Mothering

Moses and the Shiny Hindquarters, or Do We Really Want to See That Much Glory?

(Mulling Exodus 33:12-23)

Here's something I love about Moses. No matter how many times he saw or heard from God, he wanted more. Not content to rest on the burning bush, or the magic powers, or the pillars of smoke and fire or the receiving of the tablets bearing THE LAW, Moses says to The LORD:

"Show me your glory, I pray."

I understand this. I am one of those people who cannot hear enough times that she is loved. I appreciate displays of affection. I get Moses. And I love the way God responds.

"Okay, honey, I'll show you my glory, to the extent you can take it in, and I'll even protect you from looking at me too directly, sort of like one of those pinhole things people use to keep from blinding themselves during an eclipse."

If you have ever needed to reassure a child who did not want to go to school or to daycare, you probably know why I am picturing God as an Awesome Mama here. "Sweet potato, go stand over there where it's safe, and just to be extra sure, Mama will cover your eyes for you with her Big Giant Hand."

Because much of the time, this is what we need.

My own children, two of them, are far away, and I want to do this for them, and not being supernatural, I cannot. I have to pray for them instead, pray that Snowman will apply to the right conservatory program, that #1 Son will find a job even though New York must be one of the worst places to look for one right this minute.

Frankly, I could use a dose of proof right about now, and I'm guessing many of you, worried about the general state of the world and the outcome of the election, could use it, too.

But Moses! Why did he need it? Hadn't he gotten more than enough?

Can you get enough of God?

Perhaps not. Perhaps they had a relationship so intimate that one appearance could not suffice. And apparently God enjoyed their little talks, too.

What I love about Moses is that he talks to God the way I do when I am driving the car. "Oh, Lord. What can I do to guide Snowman when he is so far away?" "How can I best help the people at church?" "Why can't that person see things the way I do when the answer is so clear?" Moses has come to God over and over with his doubts and his frustrations, and by doing just that, he has found favor in God's sight. It doesn't matter that he was impulsive. It doesn't matter that he was initially doubtful and frankly resistant. He gave God his all, his flawed and human all, and he found favor with God.

Maybe that I can do.

11 thoughts on “Moses and the Shiny Hindquarters, or Do We Really Want to See That Much Glory?”

  1. Good thought…you have given me some great points to ponder for this text.
    I wish you could run over and have coffee and muffins…then we could ponder some more.
    Mel and Mugs would welcome the dogs…
    Oh, how is Sam?
    We need an update.

  2. It’s going to be a complicated Sunday for me….not sure where I will go with these texts…but you offer some interesting points to ponder, which may point toward the divergent needs of my church this Sunday: celebration of a retiring organist and a visiting Archbishop from Africa….

  3. i love Moses too – and the way he addresses God – i especially love: “why did you give me these people?? these whiny people?? I didn’t birth them…” make me grin every single time!!

  4. I’ve been wondering about glory this week too. It seems as if we ask for evidence of God’s power and wisdom, but we don’t seem to seek the glory so much these days. Were those Bible people just holier than we are???

  5. cheese, I wonder if we don’t have too many ideas of what “glory” might be? I don’t imagine there was too much human glory in Moses’ time, too many things that made a person feel that separate and spectacular, unless that person was Pharaoh himself. In our 24/7 news world, with our fifteen minutes of fame mentality, how many people even associate glory with God?

  6. This was good. I needed this reassurance that maybe God doesn’t mind so much when we ask him to show that he’s still there.

  7. Ok a coupla thoughts.
    1) Just this AM I was also pondering/praying on how we can be sated with the already many revelations that God has given us and why still, is it not enough, at least for me.
    2)I also thought this AM about leadership and what I need to do differently. I literally said to’meself’ WWSS? (what would Songbird Say?) she’s got a good perspective in things! No Lie!
    Hope this bring you smile or some comfort…
    3) Been studying Exodus all Fall. I wonder even with three or 4 diff voicings in Exodus, if the sources left out the real amount of anxiety, complaining and worry Moses felt ( and we all feel)as we try to serve faithfully, because anything besides smashing tablets just “wouldn’t be done”
    prayin fer ya

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