This week we are going to take a look at Exodus 33, which at first glance seems like an odd passage. It’s a dialogue between God and Moses. One of the things that comes out to me most clearly in this is Moses intercession not only for the people but for himself before God. Liberation and freedom come at a cost, are we willing to stand up and ask for what is needed, even if that means standing up to God? That seems like what’s going on underneath the surface, for me at least. What do you see?
“Moses said to the LORD, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.”
The LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The LORD’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” And the LORD continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”” (Exodus 33:12–23 NRSV)
What do you see, what do you hear in this passage?
What draws your heart in? Where does God minister to you through this text?
What is intercession in light of this text?
Are there ways in which intercession is helpful/hurtful?
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.