“Show Me Your Glory”
Have you ever wanted God to show you His glory? Moses did. He carried the weighty privilege and responsibility of leading God’s Chosen People through the wilderness. God performed great miracles before Moses and the Israelites—speaking to him from a burning bush, delivering the people from Egypt, and parting the Red Sea to help them escape Pharaoh’s army. But one moment of spiritual failure among the people caused Moses to ask the Lord to show him His glory, which Chris talks about in part 1 of our series on monumental moments from Moses’ life.
Moses felt righteous fury toward the Israelites when they petitioned for, created, and worshiped a golden calf. In the process, he shattered the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. Needing to return to Mount Sinai for new tablets, He asked the Lord to reveal His glory. God did just that, declaring that He is merciful, gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, but holds the guilty accountable for sin. God’s glory displays His character and nature, a wonderful truth to remember this week!
We encourage you to join us in reading Exodus 34:6-7 once a day this week. Let us know in the comments how it’s helped you in your understanding of God’s character and nature.
Steve Conover: Thank you for joining us for The Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover. With me is Chris Katulka. We'd like to remind you right at the start to visit foiradio.org. There you can keep up on all that's happening in Israel. You can also keep up with our radio program. We have nearly nine years worth of teaching available for you. It's free. You can visit our archives page at foiradio.org.
Chris Katulka: Steve, Moses had some monumental moments in his life. He saw God at the burning bush. God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. They walked through on dry ground. He got to Sinai, all these amazing things that Moses experienced. But there's one thing I want to capture today as we look at the life of Moses. One of the most monumental moments I think for his life is when he stood before God and he said, "Show me your glory." And so today we're going to talk about this glory. What did it mean? What does it mean for Moses? And ultimately, as we look, this is a two-part series that we're going to be doing. How does what God tells Moses in that moment impact all of the Bible and even our lives today?
Steve Conover: But first, in the news, Sagiv Jehezkel, an Israeli soccer player for Turkey's Antalya sports team, was condemned by Turkey's national football association. He was later suspended from the team, fired, arrested, and then deported from Turkey for dedicating a goal he made to the 100 Israeli hostages that remain in Gaza.
Chris Katulka: Steve, this is so sad and this is my take on it. Israel was one of the first countries on the ground in Turkey after a massive earthquake shook their country. But today, an Israeli soccer player that plays in Turkey was arrested, tried, and deported for standing in solidarity with his people, Israel, and the 100 hostages that have been in Gaza for more than 100 days. Turkey and Israel once had a warm relationship. But since the war and the rise of militant Islam in Turkey, the relationship has turned ice-cold.
Chris Katulka: Difficult life circumstances can play a profound role on an individual's relationship with God. For instance, one's faith in God can be shaken when you face the grief of losing a job and the financial security you're accustomed to, or maybe when you're struck with your own mortality after finding out you have a life-threatening disease, or even when a loved one dies. Grief can cause us to question our faith. As we struggle to make sense of death, our grief and pain can confuse our conceptions about God. Even the pain of our sin can drive us away from God. That's why I want to turn to a very significant moment in Moses' life, a moment that will shape his understanding of God and define many biblical characters to follow in the Old Testament and New Testament. I'll say this. What we're going to see is that Moses finds out who God is, or better yet, God tells Moses who he is.
I've titled this message, Show Me Your Glory. Now, I wish I could say that’s some creative title I concocted, but the truth is it actually comes right from the mouth of Moses himself after a tragedy In Exodus 32, a spiritual tragedy for the Israelites. Let me catch you up on the account. God called Moses to the heights of Mount Sinai to receive the law and he was gone for just 40 days. 40 days. Not 40 weeks, not 40 months, not even 40 years, just 40 days, Moses was away from the Israelites. As Moses was receiving God's revelation about how his covenant people should live, the Israelites got antsy when they didn't see Moses anymore. So the Israelites came to Aaron and told him, "Make us gods who shall go before us." Aaron, Moses' brother, bought into the Israelites' request and he constructed a golden calf, and the Israelites worshiped it.
Now, there's a lot of life-altering moments happening here, but look how quickly the hearts of the Israelites changed when Moses disappeared. In just a few days, the Israelites completely abandoned the God who rescued them from Pharaoh. In just a few days, they forgot the God who redeemed them as they walked on dry ground. And in just a few days, they neglected the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of their fathers, for a God they constructed to fit their circumstances. This moment is called the golden calf incident.
Now, as soon as Moses received the law, God says to him, atop Mount Sinai, it says this: "And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”
Look, you could say the 10 commandments which instructs the Israelites to worship their God and to have no other gods before them is hot off the press. And before the etchings in the stone have cooled, Israel has already broken rule number one and rule number two. When the Israelites were faced with the tragedy of losing their leader, Moses, they abandoned the God of their fathers in the blink of an eye.
When Moses came down to the people, God's anger could be seen in Moses now. The text says that as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, "Moses' anger burned hot and he threw the tablets out of his hand and broke them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it. Later God told Moses, take the Israelites to the promised land. Angels will go before them and drive out the inhabitants of the land, but God says, I'm not going." Now, this is interesting because Moses has a tragedy to deal with. The God who delivered the people of Israel from Egypt won't go any further, but unlike the Israelites, Moses turns to God.
Listen to this. Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 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?”
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.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”
"Show me your glory," Moses says to God. The Hebrew word for glory is kavod. When we think of glory, we think of high renown or honor that's won by notable achievements, it's a lofty thing. It's transcendental almost, but the Hebrew word for glory, kavod, means heaviness. It's the heaviness of God. It's the presence of God. God's presence can be felt and experienced, and Moses saw that glory in the cloud by day and the fire by night. Moses wants to see and experience the fullness of God even after the tragedy of the golden calf incident, and you might think Moses would cower or run from God after the sins of the Israelites, who he represents. No.
See, actually, Moses takes a much different approach. He says to God, "I want the full experience of your glory, your honor. I want to know you to the fullest extent. Show me everything about you. Show me your glory." Now, when we return, we're going to see what God says to Moses, and we're also going to see one of the most significant and powerful verses in the Bible come to life when God reveals His glory.
Steve Conover: As we enter into this new year, for many of us, we've set our hearts on growing with the Lord and deepening our understanding of his Word.
Chris Katulka: Steve, this is the reason why The Friends of Israel wants you to save the date for our 2024 Look Up Virtual Conference this March 8th and 9th, where our passionate teaching team and I will take a look at the kingdom of God according to Jesus.
Steve Conover: Yes, please join us online March 8th and 9th to study what the Bible says about the kingdom of God and the Messiah's role in restoring God's Kingdom on earth. We'll examine together all that Moses, the prophets, and the New Testament have to say about the Kingdom's coming beauty and the blessing it offers the believer today.
Chris Katulka: Look Up kicks off on March 8th and 9th airing at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, and as always, registration is free. To learn more about the Kingdom of God According to Jesus, register today at lookup.foi.org. Again, that's lookup.foi.org.
Chris Katulka: Welcome back, everyone. We are looking at one of the most significant moments in the life of our hero, Moses, from the Book of Exodus. There were many moments in Moses' life where he could have said, "I'll never forget this." Maybe it could have been the burning bush in Exodus 3 or Israel's deliverance from Egypt in Exodus 12 or walking through the sea on dry ground. All of those are very memorable moments for Moses, I'm sure. But I'm also confident that the moment God reveals his glory to Moses in Exodus 34, it will become the defining moment of his life. And even then, God didn't reveal his fullness. That's the amazing thing about it. Remember Moses said, "Show me your glory. I want to know everything about you." God promised to reveal his glory, but only in part. God says to Moses, "You cannot see my face, for a man shall not see me and live."
So God told Moses, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on 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.” Moses was not just back at Sinai to see the glory of God. He actually returned to Sinai to have the second pair of the tablets engraved with the 10 commandments. As Moses trekked to the holy ground of Sinai with no one around, God's glory passed before Moses in the cleft of the rock and what he heard would change him forever. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
In God's wisdom, he revealed to Moses his character and nature. God shared that he is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty. Tragedy can certainly make an impact and define how one understands God. It can either cause someone to run from God or to run into his arms. The Israelites and Moses both faced a tragedy, and their responses are very telling. The Israelites thought they lost Moses, so they manufactured a God turning their back on the God who redeemed them. But Moses felt as though he was losing God after the Israelites sinned. But instead of running from him, Moses said, "Show me your glory. I want to know you more."
The truth is, whatever disaster, catastrophe, mishap, step back, pain, misery, affliction happens to us, we have a choice to make: run from God or run to him. Here's the reason why God's character and nature revealed to Moses in Exodus 34:6 and 7 is so important for us to hear today. See, most people say they know God, but then when disaster strikes, they abandon him. Why is that? Well, I'm convinced it's because they didn't really know God, even though he told us who he is. He told us that in the face of tragedy, he is merciful and gracious. When it comes to how he deals with us, he is patient, long-suffering, and slow to anger. That when it feels as though he isn't listening or he isn't near or we question whether he can hear our prayers, he tells us that his love is a loyal covenantal love. It cannot be broken.
Or when we question whether God could ever love us because of our past, our sins, God says he's a forgiving God, forgiving of iniquity, transgression, and sin. God also tells us that his gracious, kind, patient, forgiving character should not be an excuse to continue to sin. His holy characteristics should drive us into his arms. That's why I want to encourage you this week to read Exodus 34:6 and 7 once a day. When you become familiar with God's glory, his character, his nature, I promise you, you'll become more confident in him in the face of any tragedy, loss, or pain that might arise.
Steve Conover: Israel, on the verge of becoming a state, a teenaged Holocaust survivor arrives on her shores alone. His name is Zvi Kalisher. Little did he know his search for a new life in the Holy Land would lead him to the Messiah. Zvi, enthusiastic to share his faith, engaged others in spiritual conversations, many of which can be found in our magazine, Israel My Glory. While Zvi is now in the presence of his Savior, his collected writings from well over 50 years of ministry continue to encourage believers worldwide. Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life of Zvi.
Mike Kellogg: How can we believe in Jesus and still say that we are Jews? After living in Israel for 36 years, many know me. Some greet me with, "Shalom." Others say something like, "Are you still alive?" People like you should be dead. When I received one such greeting recently, I replied, "No, my dear, that is not so. It is written, I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord." Psalm 118:17. "What can you, a Christian, possibly tell me about the Lord?" he asked. I said, "The Lord has given me salvation, love, and peace in my heart through the Holy Spirit. That is why the Lord has kept me alive through the Holocaust and four wars here in Israel so that I can tell others of his mighty deeds."
He then said, "You want me to accept this new faith that you believe in, your Jesus?" I responded, "The Lord Jesus did not come to make a new faith. He came to give us everlasting life through his suffering." "I knew all about suffering," he said sarcastically. I then asked, "Would you like me to read about his suffering?" He agreed. So I read Isaiah 53, the forbidden chapter for Jewish people. Suddenly, this man who was so sure of himself was now interested in hearing about the Lord. Such people have spent their entire lives listening only to the revered rabbis and reading many books of tradition. So when I present facts from the Bible, they become curious and want to hear more. It is important to articulate that Christians do not believe in a new faith, but in the one true God.
People walked by as we conversed and one man said, "Israel is not the right place for a Christian. If you want to speak about Jesus, go somewhere else, but do not do it here." I had never met people with such deep hatred for those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus. They kept repeating, "Jesus came to make a new faith, and because you believe in him, you have left the faith of your fathers." I told them, "If you would read the Bible instead of your books of tradition, you would see this is untrue." One said, "You are talking about the New Testament, but that does not belong to our Holy Bible." I told him, "Jeremiah 31:31 says, behold the days are coming when I will make a new covenant with a house of Israel and with the house of Judah."
The term New Testament is actually the Hebrew phrase, “Brit Chadashah.” Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." Surprisingly, all were listening closely, so I asked, "Do you still think Jesus came to make a new faith, or do you realize he came to fulfill the Hebrew scriptures? We must have faith in him or we will be lost forever." One replied, "Reluctantly, we must admit you are right." I told them, "Now, through the love of the Lord, we can speak together as friends. Strive to learn more about the Lord and his great love for all people, and you'll be able to stand against the false teachers who abound in our midst." They all responded, "Amen."
Chris Katulka: The impact of Zvi's life in ministry in Israel, it didn't end when he went home to be with the Lord. In fact, Zvi's legacy lives on. Our Friends of Israel ministry representatives continue to share the gospel in Jerusalem, Israel, and really all throughout the world. We also serve Holocaust survivors and their families. We provide free food, medicine, and clothing, and we even promote the safety and security of the state of Israel and the Jewish people everywhere. So when you give to The Friends of Israel, your donation actually allows us to advance the gospel of our messiah, Jesus. You can give online by visiting foiradio.org. Again, that's foiradio.org. You can click right there on our donate link. Also, be sure to let us know where you listen when you contact us.
Steve Conover: Thank you so much for joining us for today's episode of The Friends of Israel Today. Earlier in the program, Chris encouraged us to read Exodus 34:6 and 7 once a day. Will you join me in doing this every day until we meet again? Again, that's Exodus 34, verses six and seven.
Chris Katulka: Steve, I think it's important to read Exodus 34:6 and 7 because God tells us his character and nature and we constantly have to be reminded of that. And if we build our lives on who God is, whenever that tragedy, that pain, the suffering comes in our life, we're able to stand confidently on who God is, not on ourselves. And that's why next week, we're actually going to look at how this verse, it actually takes flight throughout the Bible. We're going to see how biblical characters were so confident in God that they would rely on this verse, this moment, to give better insight into how they related with God and actually how they should minister to other people as well.
Steve Conover: I look forward to it. Our host and teacher is Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione, edited by Jeremy Strong, who also composed and performs our theme music. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold, and I'm Steve Conover, Executive Producer. Our mailing address is FOI Radio, PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey, 08099. Again, that's FOI Radio, PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey, 08099. Our web address is foiradio.org. Again, that's foiradio.org. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry, proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
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Apples of Gold: How Can We Believe in Jesus and Still Say That We Are Jews?
After living in Israel for 36 years Zvi could walk down the street and be recognized by many. Some greeted him warmly, others greeted him with scorn and ridicule. One man stopped and looked at him in shock and said, “Are you still alive? People like you should be dead!” When Zvi replied by sharing his faith in Jesus, the man accused him of believing in a new religion. With a crowd around him, Zvi explained to them that believing in Jesus was not something new but something God talked about in the Hebrew Scriptures.
The Friends of Israel Today and Apples of Gold theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.
Your gifts help us to continue proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.