God’s Glory in Passing


“When my glory passes by.” I used to read these words in Exodus 33:22
and long to be like Moses, in a place where God’s glory passes by. This
glory is a visible manifestation of the invisible God.

Recently my experiences have confirmed we are in a place where God’s
glory passes by. Have you caught a glimpse of it lately?

In May, my husband and I began to drive out into the Lassen National
Forest to cut firewood. We try to go out three mornings a week, leaving
about 6 a.m. so we can get a load before the commitments of the day
take hold of our time and energy. I only mention this because the woods
have been my cleft in the rock lately, the place where God’s glory passes.

Many woodcutters drive the narrow dirt roads created by the U. S.
Forest Service to provide access for resource protection, commercial
activity, and public use. It is an economic way to heat a home during the
winter months with tags for a cord of wood costing $10.00. Therefore,
competition for firewood is intense. The field is narrowed even further by
the type of wood sought, lodgepole pine. We scour the forest looking for
lodgepole trees that have fallen or can be cut. Any green branches disqualify
a tree.

Truly it is miraculous that we can cut enough rounds to fill our pickup truck
on those mornings we go for firewood. Yet it is because of this meager supply
that we encounter the glory of God. As we round a corner, the dusty road
marked with the tire tracks of all the trucks driven by woodcutters scouring
the section before us, we see a tall, dead lodgepole a few feet from the road.
Always I am astonished. How could so many woodcutters pass this way and
miss the tree?

The Holy Spirit reminds me of examples of His work in the Old Testament
when God does the unusual so those who seek after and follow Him might
achieve victory. He would confuse people or prevent them from seeing
what was right in front of them. When God presents a tree, He is visibly
showing us that He is faithful to provide. That He hears our prayers and sees
our need. He can shield the tree from the sight of the other woodcutters no
matter how many drive down the road. Thus we witness His glory.

Moses said to the Lord “Please, show me Your glory.” [NKJV] Tony Evans
writes in his Bible commentary that Moses “wanted God to ‘go public’ for
him and provide an observable display of his glorious deity.” Yet God could
not display unfiltered glory because on this side of eternity it “would be like
entering a nuclear reactor or traveling to the sun; the divine holiness would
consume us.”1

So, God tucked Moses in the cleft of the rock and only allowed him to see
his “back,” which Evans explains was the amount of glory he was able to
handle.

I am convinced God’s glory surrounds us. It is on display throughout the
day. But like Moses, we may need to ask God to show us His glory. For
often we miss those visible manifestations of our God.

Contemplate Your Ways:

1-In what ways have you seen God manifest Himself lately?

2-What was your cleft in the rock, the place where you were able to
observe God’s glory?

References:
1-Tony Evans Bible Commentary, copyright 2019. Holman Bible Publishers.

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