When Moses requested the Lord to see his glory, the Lord replied: “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and compassion on whom I will have compassion. But’, he said, ‘you cannot see my face”. Exodus 33:19-20.
At the moment of doing the interpretation of this passage, I use the greatest hermeneutic principle of all: The Lord’s Eternal Gospel. It is evident, that the words used in this verse: “goodness”, “mercy”, “compassion” and “proclaim” are in direct and indivisible relationship with the Lord’s name. This implies that, to present the Lord’s goodness is to proclaim the Lord’s name, whose characteristics are mercy and compassion.
Subsequently, the Inspiration declares that: “…the Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming: ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, …Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…” Exodus 34:6-7. In the light of the following verses God showed Moses his legal forgiveness and the resulting salvation. This is evident by Moses’ reaction to this vision:“Moses bowed at once and worshipped and said, ‘O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes…” verse 8-9. Moses clearly understood his salvation and proclaimed it in terms of Grace and at the same time, who as a figure of the Christ, begs for his people’s redemption. This is the same reaction the Disciples had when they saw the Savior raised from the dead: They worshiped. Mark 28:17.
It is not possible for anyone to believe that Moses saw God’s figure or shape, the Scriptures declares, “No one has ever seen God…” John 1:18. The Bible calls him “The Invisible One”. Therefore, what did Moses really see? He saw God’s goodness or mercy and this truly brought peace and safety to his soul. In a somewhat mysterious and inspiring manner God showed Moses the Calvary, and in this manner, showed Moses that he truly obtained grace before the Lord’s eyes. Paul, referring to the grace which is related to salvation, declares, “…it is by grace you had been saved.”Ephesians 2:5.
We are very sure that this vision about that which is eternal kept Moses full of joy and waiting for his own redemption, as well as, his people’s. It was very necessary for Moses, who as a figure of the Christ was also lead and challenged by hard circumstances, to see “ his back”, or the antitype (a reality represented by a type or symbol) in order to be strengthened and assured in his struggle and commission as great leader. God understood this and pleased him.
We, as well as Moses, have been the object of the Creator’s Love and Compassion. By grace, we have seen God’s goodness, glory and mercy through Christ. We saw, as declared by John, the beloved disciple: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Christ, who had a humble appearance, was full of grace (love) and truth (justice).
Today, it is possible for those who truly long for it to see God’s glory and goodness in Christ, through the Gospel already fulfilled in history and declared in the Scriptures. To you, my dear beloved brothers, who have already seen this goodness, I will repeat the words of our great Master: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” (Luke 10:23-24).
Until next time, my dear beloved reader!