Exodus 33:12-23


Moses receives a great blessing while others are rebelling.  (This is a perfect lesson for this present evil age.)


Verse 12-17, And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. {13} Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show 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. {14} And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. {15} And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. {16} For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. {17} And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

I.    Moses receives assurance God will be with them.

A.  Note the many personal pronouns in verse 13.

1.      Before anyone can lead others to Christ (full Christian service), they must have a personal knowledge of Christ (as their Lord).  God blesses His Word regardless of who preaches it.  A lost person, a woman, an unqualified preacher.

2.   A pastor must first partake of the word of God before he can give it to others.

B.   Verse 13 - If he had already found grace in God's sight, why would he need to find more grace?

1.   The first grace came when he was dead in trespasses and sins.

2.   The second grace comes when as a saved servant, he continues to trust Christ for his daily needs.

3.      Titus 2:11-14 - Grace brings salvation and teaches us to live right.

4.      John 1:16 - We receive "grace for grace".

5.      Moses didn't want to "fall from grace"!!  Gal. 5:4.

6.   I John 5:13 - We believe (are saved), then know (that we're saved), then believe (continue believing in the Lord as our Lord).  This is exactly the same thing Moses was talking about.  God doesn't change - Heb. 13:8.

C.            Consider that this nation is your people.

1.      Israel, like Moses, didn't deserve the favor of God upon them.  Moses pleads for the mercy of God to give them grace.

2.      This is the true meaning of grace. (giving mercy to the undeserving)

3.      None of us deserve the grace of God for we have all failed.

D.  Verse 15 - Indeed, it is unreasonable to go ahead with our service if God doesn't go with us.  (How many go ahead with their religion, when they do not know that God is with them?)

E.   Verse 16 - The thing that separates us from all other people is that God is with us.


Verse 18-23, And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. {19} And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. {20} And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. {21} And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: {22} And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: {23} And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

II.   Moses receives (very possibly) the greatest blessing any man has ever received.

A.  He received this blessing when others were sinning.

B.   He received this blessing when interceding for them.

C.   Moses didn't see enough of God in 40 years and 40 nights on the mount with Him.  (The closer we get to God, the closer we want to be.)

D.            Compare:

1.   Ex. 33:11 - He had already seen God "face to face" - but here Moses desires to see the glory (greatness) of God, which is greater than praying and letting God speak to us through the Word.

2.      Gen. 32:30 - Jacob saw God face to face and his life was preserved.  This vision caused an eternal change in Jacob, but I don't think he saw God's glory like Moses.

E.   A person would dread to meet God as a judge, but not if He was his Lord and true friend.

F.   Verse 21-23.

1.   A place by me - not a place afar off.

2.      Stand upon the rock - the rock is Christ.

3.      Clift of the rock - Safe in Jesus through the glory of God.

4.      Covered with hand - Phil 4.  God is at hand, but only to protect us from evil, but from seeing too much of Himself.

5.      Back parts - Moses was satisfied to see the smallest parts of God's glory.

6.      Moses saw more of God's glory than any person ever did, but not so much as those in heaven see.