The Back of God

In Exodus 33, we find an interesting interaction between Moses and God (as if each interaction isn’t already interesting enough!).  In verse 18, Moses makes a rather odd but direct request of God; “…show me your glory.”  It’s an oddrequest only when you consider all that Moses has seen and experienced up to this point.  But Moses wants more, and God agrees to Moses’ request.  However, how God goes about doing so is rather fascinating.

In verses 21-23, God tells Moses that He will cause His glory to pass by, but that He will put Moses in a divide between the rocks and cover Moses with His hand as He passes by.  After He passes by, He will remove His hand so that Moses will only see the back of God.  Wait. God has a back?  Interesting. God explains that because no one can see His face and live, this is the safest way to show His glory to Moses.

One particular interpretation of this passage suggests that God’s back is a euphemismreferringto where God has been or just was.  This becomes even more fascinating when you consider that in verse 19 God says to Moses that He will cause all of His goodness to pass by.  

In other words, God equates His glory with His goodness. 

The glory of God revealed in the goodness of God.

Anytime we speak about the glory of God, it can seem at times like we’re referring to something quite mysterious.  And although that’s partly true, the clearest evidence of the glory of God around us is found in the goodness of God around us.  

If the goodness of God bears evidence of where God has been, where He has passed by, then, like Moses, I suppose we could say we have all seen God’s back!

If the glory of God is evident in the goodness of God, where is it evident that He has been in your life?

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