2008-03-29 - Shine Moses Shine
Exodus 34:29, "Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone."
I was reading in Exodus 34 today, and there are some interesting observations to be gleaned from the passage where Moses goes up to meet with God for a second 40 days. This is the passage where he returns to the Israelites, and his face is shining. He has to wear a veil, and some suppose that his face shone in such a manner for the rest of his life - but we are not told that explicitly in Scripture. It may be that it did, and that Moses wore a veil for the rest of his life, but it is not necessarily the case.
One observation from the passage respects the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. The first set was given directly from God, but Moses provided this second set, and God wrote the words on the tablets that Moses provided (34:1-4). Something very similar was done in the writing of Scripture. The Prophets, Apostles and other writers of Scripture did, as it were, only hew the tablets of Scripture. The writing of Scripture was by God. "All Scripture is God-breathed," 2 Timothy 3:16. God, here in Exodus 34, uses Moses to provide the tables on which to write His law, and so also God uses the authors of His Holy Word as vessels through which God communicated His Word to us: Word for Word. God breathes all Scripture.
But let us observe something also about Moses' face shining after he came down from the mountain having met with God. Moses did not know that his face stood out in a special way (34:29). I want this to be an encouragement to any of you who struggle in matters respecting your faith. Just as Moses did not know that his face shone, so also, I think, many do not know or see the evidence of their Christian graces. Many, I believe, shine the love of Christ through the testimony of their lives - but they neither know it, nor take comfort in it. Other see it, and see it clearly, but they - like Moses - are unaware of how their lives testify to Jesus Christ. Their friends see much of grace in them, but they themselves are ready to feel that they have no grace. Their lives shine with gifts of usefulness, and they don't even know it. Here in Exodus 34 we have the example that all the people saw it in Moses, but he himself was completely unaware of it.
I hope today that you will be encouraged, if you feel discouraged in your Christian walk. It is often a struggle to live unto the Lord, but it may be that when we feel we are the least useful unto Him, that we are, in fact, unaware that His plan, purpose, and pleasure is near (even within) us - though He seem distant. You may be unaware how others see Christ in you. I urge you to find comfort in that, and yet, I also urge you to not rest in that thought, but to strive all the more to live unto Christ, for Christ, through Christ - and finding all your joy, and all your peace only in Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,