15 And [Moses] said to [God], “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” 18 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”

Exodus 33:15–20 ESV Read More

I love how Moses tries to convince God to go along with them. “I’m not going out there unless you go with me. Unless you are with us, we won’t be distinct as your people and we probably won’t survive.” Moses, on behalf of all of the people freed from Egypt, says it plainly:

We are hopeless without your help, God.

And then one of my most favorite events in the Bible happens. The line breaks and punctuation may change, depending on which translation you are using. There aren’t any in Hebrew, so we’re all trying to figure it out together.

God says He knows Moses. He knows Moses by name. That might sound kind of weird, but think about the last time you ran into somebody that you had barely met and you hadn’t seen them for a while, and they called you by your name. Were you like “She remembered my name!”

God knowing your name is about a zillion times more awesome than that.

God knows Moses and cares about him. Moses is growing more and more in his love and understanding of God. So Moses asks God, “Show me your glory.”

Moses wants to see the fullness of who God is. He wants to know more than every who God is, what He is about, and what He is. Don’t you feel that way sometimes? Sometimes the yearning to know God more gets intense! It’s moments like this when I say to my wife, “I WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN!” And she knows what I mean.

So God will grant Moses this wish because He loves Moses and He knows his name. So Moses will get hidden in a rock cliff and God will pass by and say HIS name.

Whoa.

God is going to say His own name in the presence of Moses. Moses can’t look because nobody can look at God and survive.

But God’s name!

And God says:

‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

It’s not enough that the Lord would say His name, but in that context He also introduces who and what He does. It’s His title, His name, and who He is.

‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

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