Read Exodus 33 and Matthew 17
“And while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:22 & 23
I’m a little bit afraid to let anyone get to know me too well. My fear is that once a person really figures me out they will think, “That’s it? That’s all there is to him?”
I love to read about Lincoln because he was a man of such depth. He was born into excruciating poverty. His father’s whole life was merely a struggle for survival. Lincoln was desperately fearful that his life also would only be about survival. From a youth, he had visions of greatness. Besides the Lord Jesus, nobody has had more books written about him than Lincoln. I’ve read at least thirty of them. At least 29 of them have been really good.
I love reading about Lincoln’s struggle to understand the humanity of the black man. Lincoln was a man who couldn’t bear any type of cruelty, yet during the Civil War he went through general after general until he finally found two generals who were willing to fight without regard for human life so the war could be won. He began his career as a sneering atheist. In his later years, no president has ever spoken with such reverence of the God of justice and mercy.
Right now I’m reading an older book that is a compilation of all of Lincoln’s funny stories. I like it because the stories are really stupid. (I’d give you an example, but I won’t waste your time.) Lincoln was known as the man of sorrows. No person came to Lincoln with a true tale of woe that Lincoln didn’t weep with him. But throughout his life, everyone knew him as the funniest man they ever met and a good part of his funniness was that he laughed so hard at every joke he told or heard. To one degree or another, almost every joke he told was about himself. Though he was a deeply profound man, he did not take himself very seriously. In his youth, he had illusions of grandeur. In his maturity, he knew he wasn’t much. Just a simple man who loved a simple joke with his simple friends.
As deep as the deepest of us may be, none of us are much. Scratch too far below the surface and you’ll probably be disappointed. David asked God, “What is man, that you are mindful of him?” He asks that question rhetorically for everyone knows the answer, not much.
One can understand why Moses was so desirous to see God in all that He is. God told him that no man could see His glory and live but He would show Moses the back of His glory as He passed by.
Each day, what do we desire? Something simple, like a good joke or a good meal? Of course.
I don’t know about you, but what I really desire is something (or better, Some One) really big, really profound, truly glorious.
Question: What do you want?