“Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” (Exodus 33:13)
“Moses the man of God” (Deuteronomy 33:1) was surely one of the greatest men who ever lived. He was the leader of a great nation, he received the tablets of the law from God, and he compiled and wrote the Pentateuch. It was said that “there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face” (Deuteronomy 34:10). Yet, “the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).
It was such a man as this who made two remarkable requests of God. The first was, as above: “Shew me now thy way.” The second, just a moment later, was: “Shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18).
These were not selfish requests. Moses desired the way of the Lord on behalf of his people. God answered this request with the gracious promise: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (Exodus 33:14).
But then he also asked to see the glory of God. So God placed Moses “in a clift of the rock,” covering him with His hand as His glory passed by, allowing him to see the remnants of His glory, as it were (Exodus 33:22-23), since he could not have endured any more. With such a vision of God’s glory, Moses was then able to lead the Israelite multitude for 40 years in a terrible wilderness, transforming them from a mob of slaves into God’s chosen nation, ready to bring God’s Word, and God’s Son, into the world.
We also can see His way and His glory. Jesus said: “I am the way” (John 14:6). Then He prayed: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory” (John 17:24). HMM