Way Points: Exodus 33:13 and The Cleft of the Rock

Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found favor in thy sight, show me now Thy Ways, that I may know thee and find favor in thy sight. Consider too that this nation is thy people.” And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Exodus 33:13-14  RSV

Picture from https://www.blendspace.com/lessons/ZT4zpLIME1uHEw/split-rock-of-horeb

In the last Way Point, we left the people of Israel in a humble state. Just days after entering a covenant with YHVH, they were in gross violation of the terms of the covenant. They worshiped an image of an Egyptian god, calling it by the name of the Almighty. The LORD was ready to destroy them all, per the covenant agreement, and begin again with Moses. But for the glory of the name of YHVH, Moses pleaded with the Almighty to not destroy Israel. They would live with the consequence of their sin, but they would live. A Messiah would come to redeem them, to die the covenant death that they deserved. A humble people began to worship.

And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the door of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, every man at his tent door.  Exodus 33:10

Exodus 33: 12-33 Three thousand people had died by the Sword of Levi (Exodus 32:28), even more fell because of the plague of the LORD. So much death in such a short time! Moses had a question for the Almighty, “Who will go up with me?” (Exodus 33:12)

Moses basically said, You know me and have given me favor, I want to know You! I want to know Your Way. Who will go with Moses? The LORD would be his companion. How would Moses know the presence of the unseen God?

Show me your glory! Not the beauty of creation or the beauty of another soul, but show me YOUR Glory! (Exodus 33:18)

And YHVH said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name ‘YHVH‘; 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 man shall not see me and live.”  And YHVH said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand upon 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 33:19-23

There, in the desert of what is now Saudi Arabia, Moses learned more about our God then I will ever know about him from a lifetime of study. From “the trailing edge” Moses saw the Almighty, the one I long to see! I study “The Way” to know him, but honestly, I study because I long to walk with him His Way.

Aaron Sans (Author not acquainted with) in a picture of the split Rock at Horeb in Saudi Arabia. Large enough for Moses to hide in “the cleft” while YHVH passed by. Because of the extensive water erosion in the Saudi desert, this rock is most famous as the probable artifact that Moses smacked (instead of touching) to provide water for the people and flocks of Israel. Picture from  http://www.arkdiscovery.com/mt__sinai_found.htm

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