“And he said, ‘Show me your glory!’”
I think that it is impossible to read this verse without feeling the excitement that Moses was feeling. God had promised to walk with his people and to lead them from this mountain. Here, Moses verbalizes the glorious hope of every believer: to see God’s glory. There are very few that the Bible records being given such a privilege: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the three Apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration, John in his final Revelation, etc… While there are others, the response of believers to God’s presence is always one of awe, fear, and an overwhelming sense of unworthiness. It would do the church well to learn from these past believers, for one of the great problems we have is that we often enter into God’s presence all too casually. We are bid to enter in with joy and thanksgiving, but doing so ought to give us goose-bumps. Here is the transcendent creator of the universe kneeling down in the muck and the mire of our sinful existence to have a relationship with us.
Oh, what a God we have been called to serve! And oh, what a bold request that Moses makes upon this mountain! When we see the Apostle Peter awaiting his own martyrdom, likely about 35 years after the resurrection of Christ, we can see from his own words that he is still reflecting on the transfiguration of Christ, which he was blessed to witness (2 Peter 1:17-18). How much more must the experience of Moses on the mountain sustained him through the difficulties of leading God’s people through the wilderness over the following years?
I would suggest that this should be the heart’s desire of every Christian—that we might see the glory of the Lord, not only in part as we look upon the faces of believers, but in full as we anticipate seeing the glory with our own eyes when we see him face to face in heaven. The hope of seeing this glory should be a powerful motivation for the believer to live faithfully and to persevere through this life, lest we fall away and be separated from him forever (note that I am not denying the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, but scripture also seems to describe those who have had an experience that looks like a conversion, but who then later fall away—showing that the experience that they had was not true regeneration—thus believers are often bid in scripture to walk in faith towards the goal).
Beloved, do you long to see the glory of God revealed with your own eyes? Certainly, you can get a taste of it in the Scriptures, but we look forward to a time when our eyes will be finally opened and we will see our King, our Lord, our Savior, our Prophet, and our High Priest riding triumphantly on a great white steed in the clouds returning to bring final judgment on his enemies and to remake the world to be as it was before the fall. That day is coming, loved ones, hope in it; dare to dream of it; and pray to God that your life would be one that leads others to see it as well—not as one condemned, but as one rejoicing in the return of their king.