We all want to be treated fairly and get what we deserve. But what we deserve is nothing compared to the praise and worship God deserves. Pastor Lutzer ponders the scope and the significance of beholding God’s glory, like Moses did on the holy mountain. What if the glory of God was our deepest desire—our ultimate objective?
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I am so excited about today’s episode because we’re going to continue our study about the glory of God. And once we get the glory of God as our object, our reason for living, life becomes so much simpler and you begin to have a larger focus.
As I mentioned in the first episode in this series, the issue then isn’t whether or not I’m treated correctly, whether or not I get the praise that I think I deserve. The issue is: How do I respond to life? Do I bring glory to God?
Well, once again, we’re still in Exodus 33. I love this chapter. I’ve often preached on this chapter and I personally go over it again and again.
To set the context, God has said, “I’m not going with you because of the sin that was committed by Israel.” Moses says, “Unless You go with us, I’m not going.” God says, “Okay, My presence will go with you.” “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘This very thing you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.’” Doesn’t God know everybody by name? As a matter of fact, he then reveals His name to Moses. He says, “I am the LORD.” He’s saying, “We’re exchanging names.” Of course, we’re not on the same plane as God but God says, “We know one another intimately.” That’s why the name in those times, ancient times, was so very important. So they’re exchanging names. God says, “I know your name and My name is the LORD.”
And Moses says, “Show me Your glory.” I emphasized last time that Moses had seen the glory of God many times but he wanted more of the glory of God. And then the Lord says to him in verse 20—”…but, he said, ‘You cannot see my face, for no man shall see me and live.’” Wait a moment. In previous chapters we read that Moses spoke to God face to face and here God says, “Nobody can see My face and live.” What’s going on?
Well, let me ask you a question. It’s kind of a homey illustration but it makes a point. Could I ask you, did you see your face this morning? You say, “Well, of course, I saw my face! I washed my face. I saw it in the mirror.” Yes, but you did not see your face directly did you? In order for us to see our face directly our eyes would have to come out of our head and then we’d have to look back and see our face. We see a reflection.
In the very same way, even when Moses spoke to God face to face, the face of God was still veiled. And of course as we think about the New Testament we’re reminded of the words of Jesus Christ. The words about Jesus Christ, where it says, “We beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Nobody has seen God as God in the flesh.
That’s why Augustine, that great theologian and philosopher, prayed, “O God, Your word says, ‘No man can see Me and live.’ Let me die that I might behold Thy glory.”
Now, Moses is not allowed to go into the land. You know that experience, how he was held back because of disobedience. But Moses eventually gets into the land and what is he doing? He’s seeing the glory of God. Go to Matthew 17, where we have the story of the disciples being asked to go to the top of the mountain, and there Jesus Christ is revealed to them on the Mount of Transfiguration. And who shows up on the mountain? Moses and Elijah. Moses not only makes it into the land but Moses is there getting more of the glory of God.
I want to tell you, my brothers and sisters, that there is no way that we will ever receive enough of God’s glory. We’ll always want more throughout all of eternity.
Remember, I sometimes have quoted Jonathan Edwards that the ideas of God go on for all eternity. What will we be doing in heaven? Many different things I’m sure but beholding the glory of God will be our central theme, our central desire. And we will never get enough of God’s glory, His greatness, His beauty, His holiness.
Now, you and I can start in this life by having the glory of God as our objective. As I’ve mentioned in the previous episodes and in the ones yet to follow, every morning before you get out of bed, please pray this: “Oh God, glorify Yourself in my life today at my expense.” I prayed that this morning. I certainly hope that you will too.
Now, before I close listen carefully. You’re thinking to yourself, “Oh, if only I had been Moses, so that I could have seen the glory of God. What privileges he had!” Next episode I’m going to show you that you and I, in this era, have privileges that go beyond the life of Moses and the children of Israel. Unbelievable? Well, you tune in.
But as for today, well you already know what I always say, you just go with God.