Sunday, September 8, 2019

Changing Face

Changing Face
September 9, 2019
Exodus 3:6  ". . . Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God."

When Moses met the Lord at the burning bush, the Lord was relatively unknown to Moses. Moses did not have any ancient text to go by in learning about the Lord; the Bible had not been written yet. He grew up in Egypt, knowing he was a Hebrew, but he did not truly know or understand who the Lord was to him. The Lord was a God, obviously the One True God, but Moses had a very narrow understanding of Him. The Lord decided to appear to Moses, having picked him for the task of leading the people out of Egypt, but Moses was not necessarily wanting to be used by the Lord. In fact, Moses was ashamed of his actions and life, now living on the backside of a mountain, hiding from his past, and possibly hiding even from the Lord. But the Lord appeared to Moses through the burning bush and spoke to Moses directly. The Bible says that Moses hid his face because he was afraid.

Why was Moses afraid of the Lord? Certainly the Lord is to be feared but if the Lord appeared as a small fire, not the Lord's direct image, then why would Moses need to hide his face?  We can only speculate as to why Moses was afraid of the Lord, but likely he realized his humanity was unworthy of the Lord's presence. Moses was ashamed of something, possibly his own sin. Moses did not really know the Lord; he knew of Him but that knowledge was extremely superficial. He did not know if the Lord was coming to smite him or punish him or what. All Moses knew was that a God, an unknown force, was appearing to him in the most unnatural way. It was not a normal thing, a common thing, for the Lord to be appearing to him or to anyone.

Fast forward nearly 40 years and Moses eventually developed a deep relationship with the Lord, a relationship so unnatural that it changed the face of Moses. The Bible says that as Moses met with the Lord, that the face of Moses was changed; it radiated from the Lord's presence. At one time, Moses hid his face because he was afraid but as he developed a relationship with the Lord, he was no longer afraid but changed, reflected the presence of the Lord, even. It took years and years of establishing a deep relationship with the Lord, but through all of that Moses became confident in the Lord's presence, not afraid. Moses was still human, that part did not change, but what did change was his relationship with the Lord, through spending time with Him, with the God he once feared.

Moses become so comfortable with the Lord that he asked to see his face directly, no longer afraid of the Lord's power and might, fully confident that the Lord desired only good things for Moses. Moses wanted to go deeper in his relationship with the Lord, to see Him fully, nothing held back, no fear. How is your relationship with the Lord? If He appeared to you today, would you hide your face like Moses did initially, or would you ask to see all of Him? How deep is your confidence in the Lord and His presence? It took 40 years for Moses to grow confident in his relationship with the Lord; where are you on that continuum? What are you doing today to deepen that relationship? What does your face look like? Does it reflect the Lord; does it radiate from spending time with Him? Is your face changed or do you hide from Him even today. 

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Ex 3:1-6, Ex 33:17-23, Ex 34:33-35

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