Moses knew God like no other man. Yet, he still asked God, “Show me Your glory!” The intimate encounters Moses had in God’s presence only increased his desire to know God.
Time spent with those we love, whether family or friends, is sweet and refreshing. We constantly want to know what they are doing, how they are feeling, what is new in their lives, the struggles and successes they are experiencing. Time passes quickly in their presence. Often before one meeting has ended, we’re anticipating and planning our next get together.
Moses felt this way about God. God’s attributes, nature and character are beyond finding out. Though Moses glimpsed who He was, he wanted to know God fully and completely.
“Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
The desire to know God will always lead to asking, “Show us more of You.”
A Meeting Place
My husband enjoys meeting with other men at a coffee shop, sipping on steaming cups of hot coffee and savoring humongous fresh backed cinnamon buns. I like meeting in homes — ours or someone else’s. Weekly worship services and prayer gatherings connect us to our church family.
The place we meet isn’t as important as being intentional about meeting.
“Now Moses used to take a tent
and pitch it outside the camp some distance away,
calling it the “tent of meeting.””
Moses’ meeting with God wasn’t happenstance. He established a place and time to meet with God. When Moses was purposeful to meet with God, God met him.
“As Moses went into the tent,
the pillar of cloud would come down
and stay at the entrance,
while the LORD spoke with Moses…
The LORD would speak to Moses face to face,
as one speaks to a friend.”
Face to face! Friend to friend! What stirs within you as you think about meeting God face to face, Friend with friend? Wonder, curiosity, anticipation, longing, or maybe even fear?
Wanting to know originates with God.
“I will give them a heart to know me,
that I am the LORD.
They will be my people,
and I will be their God,
for they will return to me with all their heart.”
God gives us a heart “to know” Him. Then He meets us fulfilling that longing, which only causes us to hunger and know Him more. If earthly friendships are sweet, how much more precious our time with God, the Greatest most Faithful Friend?
I envy Moses’ encounters with God. I also envy young Joshua’s position of being able to eavesdrop in on those conversations. As Moses’ assistant, Joshua was able to enter the Tent of Meeting, even lingering long after Moses went to other duties.
If we think God shows Himself only to His mighty men, we are mistaken. God welcomes anyone and everyone who comes humble and hungry. No matter how many times Moses and Joshua entered the tent, no matter how long they stayed, it was never quite long enough. The desire to know God always increased.
Hunger and Thirst
No amount of “knowing” is enough!
“If you are pleased with me,
teach me your ways so I may know you
and continue to find favor with you…”
Moses declares, “Thank you God for your presence, but I want to know you more!” God affirms their friendship — no arm twisting needed! He responds immediately,
“And the LORD said to Moses,
“I will do the very thing you have asked
because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
There are over 100 names for God in the bible. Each name reveals something about His character and identity. Moses knew God by Yahweh or Jehovah. Pharaoh’s daughter gave Moses his name. In Egyptian, “Moses” comes from the word for “son”, but in Hebrew it has the meaning to “deliver” or “drew out” because the Egyptian princess, “drew” Moses out of the Nile. His name reflected his destiny. God chose Moses to partner with Him to draw the people of Israel out of Egypt.
Names are significant. Calling someone by name shows them respect and value. Moses had a desire to know God even beyond His Name.
Moses pushes the relationship to new levels and immediately asks God for more.
“Then Moses said, “now show me your glory.”
If you were confident of asking God for anything He could offer, what one thing would it be? When, like Moses, you already know God’s unlimited power and unending capacity, what would you ask for?
“Show me!” Moses asked, “Show me more of You.”
Moses wasn’t enticed by power or position. He once lived in the house of the richest most powerful man in the world. What man possesses, another man can take away. But what God has, who He is, and what He gives can never be removed. “More of You,” Moses asks.
“Wherever your treasure is,
there the desires of your heart will be.”
How intentional I am about creating a meeting place with God, will prove how hungry I am for His Presence. It will also reveal where my desire is.
Desire to Know God
Moses wasn’t alone!
To paraphrase David, he said, “There is only one thing I ask God. I want to live where You live. There is no one else I want to be with, look at, or hear from.” (Psalm 27:4) The Sons of Korah echoed David’s desire to know God more.
“My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”
They knew there was no place better! No other place held the indescribable joy of God’s presence praising Him.
Flip a few pages in the bible to the New Testament and we find Anna in the temple day and night worshiping, fasting and praying. (Luke 2:37) Without a husband or family, her time was exclusively devoted to God. Mary sat at Jesus feet intently listening, watching and learning more. (Luke 10:39)
Paul’s desire to know God came in monstrous proportions.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
1 Corinthians 2:2
His knowing Jesus went beyond the ooey-gooey, make me feel good kind of knowing someone.
“I want to know Christ — yes,
to know the power of his resurrection
and participation in his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death.”
To Know More Fully
The more these men and women knew God, the more they longed to know Him. The desire to know God out-measured the need for personal comfort, gain, or reputation. In the knowing, an unquenchable hunger for knowing more fully was awakened.
For each of these people, time devoted in His presence (speaking and listening, waiting and pressing in) nurtured the hunger for more. There were no shortcuts.
“Lord fill us with a hunger for more of You.
May we “pitch our tents,” setting aside a specific place to meet You.
Help us draw away from demands and responsibilities
to wait in Your presence,
even if that means stepping “some distance away.”
May we choose to reach for You,
to seek Your face,
to long more deeply for your presence.”