Moses’ face shone with the reflected glory of God when he returned from speaking to God on Mt Sinai, and seemingly every time after whenever he spoke to God. Moses would relate God’s message to the people of Israel, as they beheld his shining face, then he would wear a veil until he went back into God’s presence. (See Exodus 34:29-35). The account makes it seem that he put the veil on, not to hide the glory of the Lord, but to hide its diminishing.
Whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him. (Exo 34:34 -35).
Paul corroborates this in 2 Corinthians when he talks of the Law having been brought to an end, even though it had glory for a time:
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. (2 Corinthians 3:12-13).
God has challenged me through this concept of the veil hiding His glory’s diminishing on Moses. There are many times when I have tried to “veil” (cover up) His diminishing glory in my life. Moses face shone most gloriously straight after time with God. How true this is for us today! How often do I hear comments about how crucial daily time with God is to Christ-likeness through the day. We only reflect His glory. A mirror cannot reflect our image if we are not looking into it; we cannot reflect the glory of God if we are not spending time in His glorious presence!
It can be too easy to try and hide the diminishing of His glory, rather than top it up with fresh time in His presence. We might use the words to sound like we are still spending time with God; we might talk about what we know He wants, rather than how we are living it out; we might share old testimonies rather than new ones; or refer to old lessons rather than current ones. However we hide it, the outcome is the same: our glory diminishes if we do not return to His presence.
We are called to be lights to the world. We need to shine so that the world can see Christ, the true source of Light and Life. We shine when we reflect Christ.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Let us not hide our lights when they start diminishing. Let us not be like the foolish virgins who did not keep enough oil and missed the Bridegroom as they went out for more.
And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. (Matthew 25:8-10)
Let us keep entering His presence and thus filling up our oil to keep our lamps burning with His glory.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
How do you need to seek more time in His presence? In His Word? By journalling of His goodness in your life? By interceding for a family member or friend? By praying into a situation causing you stress? By laying aside your priorities and prioritising time soaking in His presence? Seek His glory daily; do not hide its diminishing.