To Catch a Glimpse
Can anyone really know who or what God is? I don’t believe this side of eternity can we even scratch the depth of who God is. With that said, it is what we believe about God that really determines our worldview and our worldview has everything to do with how we treat other people. If we believe that God is a God of rules and dos and don’ts, then we treat people in a similar fashion, in a cold, non-personal “by the book” sort of way. If we believe that God is all about judgment and making people answer for their actions, then we will find ourselves jihading ourselves to death. If God is purely a God of love and forgiveness, then we do whatever we want with no consequences. We also tolerate anything and everyone, because, after all God is love right?
The way we perceive God has everything to do with the way we live our lives. The scary thing is that so many religions, denominations, and sects all have conflicting views of who God is. But I ask again, can we really grasp who God is?
While we are mere mortals hoping in our finite wisdom to comprehend an infinite God, maybe we can catch a glimpse of God the way Moses did. You see Moses was a guy like many of us, ordinary. Sure he grew up in a palace but let’s not forget that he was the son of slaves and that he was adopted into the palace. His adopted mother may have been the Angelina Jolie of the day, but that didn’t change the fact that he found himself fleeing the celebrity of the palace as he ran for his life. Moses become even lower than a slave, he was a wanted murderer. Moses found himself tending sheep in the wilderness for 40 years. I’d call that ordinary, or even sub-ordinary. Yet this is the guy years later, who stood on the mountain with God as the rest of the people of Israel cower away from the presence of the Lord. Instead of pursuing the Almighty, the people of Israel cast God in the image they wanted him in, as a cow. Holy cow? Not so much.
But Moses wasn’t with them. He was experiencing the pure awe and wonder that is God. God had already revealed to Moses a little bit about himself to which Moses replied, “Huh?” when God had said, “I AM who I AM.” (Exodus 3). Though that is about as clear as mud, it gives Moses a taste of who God is. Now on Mt. Sinai Moses keeps on pursuing God, the I AM. Moses asks what few others have dared to ask. Moses, the ordinary guy who knows he’ll never fully comprehend God, asks, “Show me Your glory.” Pretty gutsy and ambitious if you ask me, but if we never get gusty and ambitious in life then we really never gain anything worth gaining. What Moses is asking is to see God, to experience God, to have a better comprehension of God. Moses wants a deeper relationship with God. And lets face it, if our own understanding of God is skewed, we aren’t going to have a real relationship with him. So with reckless abandon Moses asks for what only a handful of men have every experienced…a glimpse.
What I find amazing is that God agreed! You know Jesus would later say, “seek and you will find.” Moses sought, and God was willing to be found. God agreed to reveal part of himself to Moses that day but only part. The pure fact that we are mortal means that we cannot handle all of God; he’s too much God for us to handle.
Exodus 33 tells us that God said, “You cannot see my face; For no man shall see me, and live.” But God wanted to share himself with Moses so God told him, “Here is a place by me and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. Then I will take away my hand and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”
Are you willing to look past what you want God to be in order to discover who he truly is? Are you ready to ask for the unimaginable and forsake all other perceptions in order to catch a glimpse at God’s backside? God will reveal himself to those that truly seek Him. He wants to be found!
Take a risk…
Ask God to show you his glory.
Open your mind to what you discover, and allow your heart to be transformed in the process.