Text: Ex. 33:18-23
Title: "When God Passes By"
Subj.: God's encounter with man is through Jesus Christ..
Intro: The Bible says, "...thy faith hath made thee whole..."
We live in a time of a great dichotomy. Sinful mankind seems willing
to accept almost any hair brain assumption, as long as it is
proclaimed by other sinful men; while rejecting the reliable,
infallible, inspired written revelation of the eternal,
all-powerful, everywhere present, all knowing God! Man has a
problem! On one hand, he has put his faith, yes his faith, in the
answers of men who readily admit that they don't have the answers;
while, on the other hand, rejecting the claims of God, Who does have
the answers. Worse than that, man refuses to believe in God unless
God can be physically proven to their own sinful satisfaction. Man
believes man, and rejects God, instead of believing God and
rejecting man! Who do you believe this morning: God or man? Further
more, if you say that you believe God, how are you living? By faith,
or does God have to prove Himself to you by sight? Are you living by
faith or waiting for an "experience?"
But the Bible says, "...thy faith hath made thee whole..."
Faith is simply, "Trust in the Word of Another," Faith is having
enough trust in God, because of Who He is, to believe what He says,
despite your doubts and/or outward circumstances.
Sight can be summed up in the saying, "Seeing is believing." In
other words, if I can see it, if I can experience it, if I can
understand it, then and only then will I believe it.
Moses, one of God's chosen, had this "sight" problem, and so do many
of you. Though "God told Moses, "My Presence shall go with thee, and
I will give thee rest," that was not good enough for Moses! He
wanted to see to believe!
But the Bible says, "...thy faith hath made thee whole..."
Perhaps some of you here this morning are on a "sight-seeing" trip
regarding God. You would join with Moses, and cry out, "Show me Thy
glory." This morning I will show you exactly what Moses saw when He
cried out those very words to God. You will see this morning what
Moses saw, "When God Passes By."
Ex. 33:18-23 -- "When God Passes By" -- prayer
Note: The Book of Exodus is the book of redemption. It is God's
ransoming and emancipating an enslaved people from the house of
their bondage. God can set you free, today, too, if you will but
I. GOD'S WILLINGNESS TO REVEAL HIS GLORY (v18)
A. Despite the Unbelief of Men
1. Moses unbelief revealed
a. God said, "My Presence shall go with thee."
b. Moses said, "I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory!"
1) "Show" = "see, look at, inspect."
2) "Glory" = that which makes God known, His visible manifestation,
His self-disclosure of all that makes Him God, and His intent to
dwell among men.
a) Moses said, "Show me that You have the ability to do what You say
You will!" Begging for a special revelation/vision of God, living by
God is willing to reveal His glory
II. HOW GOD HAS CHOSEN TO REVEAL HIS GLORY (v19)
A. He Reveals His Glory by Passing Before Us.
Note: But how was God to accomplish this "passing before us"? We
have a limited ability to comprehend God. We have a sinful nature.
We are self-centered, not God-centered. How could a holy God reveal
His glory to sinful man? By the divine plan thereby God would pass
by us Himself, by taking on Himself human flesh, and by dwelling
among us, "And the Word [which was God, Jn. 1:1] was made flesh, and
dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only
begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." And so, God came
as a man, the God-man, Jesus Christ; His glory veiled in human
flesh. So God has chosen to reveal His glory in the Person of Jesus
Christ, "Who [is] the brightness of His [God's] glory, and the
express image of His [God's] Person..." Heb. 1:3. Man sees God in
the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. God's Glory Is Revealed in 4 Particulars of Christ (v19)
1. His glory is revealed in the Goodness of Jesus Christ
Mat. 19:16-17 "And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master,
what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" "And He
said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but One,
that is, God..."
Note: The English word "good" is from the Anglo-Saxon word for
"God." Its meaning encompasses everything that is excellent and
worthy of praise. In the Hebrew, "good" is also expressed in the
word "beneficial." What is "good/beneficial" is from God, and what
is from God is "good/beneficial," for God is "good." Ja. 1:17 says,
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh
down from the Father of lights..."
1) Sinner: It is good for you to turn from your sins and to receive
Christ as your Saviour by faith! Why? because salv. is a good God's
perfect gift, and, therefore, it is eternally good for you!
2) Saint: It is good for you to turn from your "sight" and to follow
Christ by faith. Why? because faith is a good God's demand on your
life, making you more like Christ, which is eternally good for you!
God's glory is revealed in the goodness of Jesus Christ!
2. God's glory is revealed in the Proclamation of Jesus Christ
Note: To "proclaim" is to address particular people, expecting a
specific response. It is also the asserting of sovereignty by the
One named over those addressed. To proclaim the Name of the Lord, is
to proclaim the totality of His sovereignty, attributes, and nature
(all He is), all the while expecting a response. Today, Jesus Christ
is proclaimed by God in 1) His Word, and 2) through His preachers,
"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not
God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them
that believe." 1 Cor. 1:21 But why does God use preaching? Because
God has determined that "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the
Word of God. but "how shall they hear without a preacher... Rms.
God's glory is revealed in the proclamation of Jesus Christ!
3. His glory is revealed in the Grace of Jesus Christ
Note: Grace is unmerited favor. It is a heartfelt response by God
Who has something to give to one who has a need. Everyone here has a
need. Some of you need to be forgiven of your sins. Some of you need
to return to your first Love. Some of you need a good dose of
old-fashioned, Bible believing faith! We all need grace! 2 Cor. 8:9
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was
rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty
might be [spiritually] rich."
God's glory is revealed in the grace of Jesus Christ!
4. God's glory is revealed in the Mercy of Jesus Christ
Note: Mercy is grace which leads God to action on behalf of sinners,
to spare them the just desserts of their sins. Remember, mercy is
only for the guilty. (Every person who has ever sinned, please
stand. Every Christian who has ever sinned since salv., please
remain standing) Mercy is only for the guilty! It is pity put into
practice. Grace sent Jesus Christ to die for you. Mercy applied that
death to you. There is grace for salv., and mercy for sins.
Eph. 2:4-5 "But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love
wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath
quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)."
God's glory is revealed in the mercy of Jesus Christ
To whom will God be gracious and show mercy? Sinner: whosoever will
may come, by repentance toward God, and faith toward the Lord Jesus
Christ, to receive the free gift of eternal life. Saint: To
whosoever will come, by repentance toward God, and faith toward the
Lord Jesus Christ, humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God.
Those who live by sight deserve to see His majesty, while those who
live by faith desire to see His mercy.
III. GOD'S GLORY IS NOT REVEALED BY SIGHT (v20)
A. Three Reasons You Cannot See God in This Present Life
Jn. 4:24 "God is a Spirit..."
Heb. 11:9 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he
that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a
rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
B. One Reason You Will See God in the Next Life
1. Sin must be punished! Justice demands it & God is just!
Note: For the sinner, If you refuse to be reconciled to God in this
life, you WILL stand before His face at the Great White Throne
Judgment. You WILL face your sins! You WILL face your God! You WILL
be sentenced to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire! For the
saved, you too have a date with God at the judgment seat of Christ.
Though forgiven, You WILL face your sins! you WILL face your God.
For you there is also a penalty for sin.
Note: Moses asked to see God's glory. God said, "You will see My
goodness, learn My Name, see my grace, and see my mercy, but you
will not see My face!" You say, "I will not believe God until I can
see Him face to face! Then you will not believe God, and you shall
die in your sins!"
God's glory is not revealed by sight!
IV. GOD'S PROVISION WHEN REVEALING HIS GLORY (v21)
A. There is a Place Provided by God, if you will come before it is
everlastingly too late!
1. It is "by God," not before God!
2. It is on a rock (sure foundation) provided by God, and not on the
quicksand of your sins!
Rms. 5:1-2 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with
God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom also we have access by
faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the
glory of God."
Note: Sinner: don't tell me that God is not interested in you! God
is more interested in you than you are interested in you, and that's
2 Pet. 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some
men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing
that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Saint: don't tell me that God has forgotten you, you have forgotten
God! You are so wrapped up in you, you, you, that you have withdrawn
from the place God prepared especially for you.
Ja. 4:7-8,10 "Submit yourself to God..." "Draw nigh to God, and He
will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify
your hearts, ye double-minded." "Humble yourselves in the sight of
the Lord, and He shall lift you up."
Note: There is a place by the world, there is a place by Satan, and
there is a place by God. Where will you take your stand?
God has a place for you!
V. GOD'S PROMISES CONCERNING HIS PASSING (v22)
A. It Shall Come to Pass, that His Glory ("Goodness") Shall Pass By
1. Every man will be exposed to God's goodness in Christ.
Mat. 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all
the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end
2. That "Goodness" [of Christ] will either draw you to God, or repel
you from God, for you will see the contrast between your sins and
how God's sees them!. An idol is sinful man's response to a holy
Jn. 3:20-21 Jesus said, "For every one that doeth evil hateth the
Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds should be
reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the Light, that his
deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
God has promised to reveal His glory
B. God Will Put You in a Cleft of the Rock
(Your flesh must be hidden to see the glory of God)
1. The Rock is Christ
Note: This refers directly to Mt. Sinai, which is covered with large
boulders, suitable for sheltering Moses. But by type, this Rock is
Christ, as He is typified throughout the Scriptures.
2. The Rock is Cleft (hole, crevice)
a. Cleft on the Cross for you (cut, pierced, laid open for you!)
Jn. 20:27-29 "Then saith He [Jesus] to Thomas, Reach hither thy
finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust
it into My side, and be not faithless, but believing." "And Thomas
answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God." "Jesus saith unto
him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed
are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
3. The Rock is Sufficient For You
Col 3:3 "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
a. Every trial/temptation must come through the Rock to get to you
C. God Will Cover You With His Hand
1. "Hand" = His protecting power, His holding power
Jn. 10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never
perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My Hand."
2. The Hand is Christ, and is so used throughout Scripture
a. Covered by Christ!
God has promised to reveal Himself, to place you in the Rock and
cover you with His hand when revealing His glory
VII. GOD'S SANCTIFICATION FOLLOWING HIS PASSING (v23)
A. God Will Part the Curtain of His Glory, and Will Give You a New
Vision of Christ, IF you walk by faith and not by sight.
1 Pet. 1:7-8 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious
than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be
found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus
Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see
Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of
B. God Will Reveal His Back Parts Today, but His Full Glory Tomorrow
1. When God took away His hand, what Moses saw was a similitude
("likeness/form") of Christ. Jesus Christ is God's glory!
Num. 12:8 "With him [Moses] will I speak mouth of mouth, even
apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord
shall he behold..."
2. Today we see the "back parts,"
a. The inward nature reflects itself in the face, while the back
gives only an imperfect and outward view.
1 Cor 13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face
3. Tomorrow we shall see His face
Rev. 22:3-4 "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God
and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:
and they shall see His face..."
a. Where will you be "tomorrow?"
Concl: God, in Jesus Christ, has passed by man in the flesh. God, in
Jesus Christ, has passed by you in His Word. God, in Jesus Christ,
has passed by you in this morning's preaching. And God, in Jesus
Christ, will pass by you when He comes again to judge the quick and
Are you ready to put your faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus
Christ that you too might behold His glory? Will you be saved today?
Christian, is it faith or sight? What Moses saw is not only all
there is to see, but it is all God will give you to see. Are you
living according to God's Word, or are you waiting for a "fuller
revelation" before you begin to serve and trust God? Lack of faith
is sin, confess it today! Will you?