Moses must have been bewildered when God told him that he wouldn’t be allowed to see His face. After all,
they were friends. Moses was the presumed ‘main man’ and God knew him on a first name basis. God told
him that He would hide him in a crevice between boulders and he would only be allowed to see God’s
backside, and this only when God removed His hand from covering Moses’ eyes. If there was any doubt that
we were made in God’s image; the face, the hand, and the derrière part of the passage should dispel that.
In Isaiah 55:9 God declared “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your
Even with God allowing Moses this much leeway, there would be no seeing God’s real glory. God’s
explanation was simply that no one, then or now, can see Him and live. That’s because God’s nature is so
awesome and holy that God’s very presence would automatically annihilate anything sinful. In today’s
lifestyle what translates into sin before our holy God includes things which may seem harmless like allowing
ourselves a little daydreaming during the Sunday morning sermon, or perhaps a margin of apathy in serving
the Lord, or the giving in to a little nap time in our private devotions when in reality we could have fought
through it. Of course these are not the big sins like going out and murdering someone, but they are the very
things which separate us from God, and big or small they become deadly in His holy presence.
Hey, I didn’t make the rules.
In our honest endeavors to comprehend God we are unable to adequately do so, much less see His glory.
When God explains that His ways are higher than ours, and that His thoughts are higher than ours, that
moves beyond an eloquent verse of Scripture. God is so far above our understanding and His perfection so
glorious that we are completely unable to withstand His presence in our current sinful state.
God in His wisdom was protecting His servant Moses. One day we all will be able look upon Him in His glory.
It may overwhelm us, but it won’t be deadly. We’ll just have to wait.