[b]Excerpts for the sermon - REVELATION OF GOD'S GLORY[/b]
- by Prof. Finney
'And Moses said unto the Lord, see, thou sayest unto me, bring up this people; and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me; yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; and consider that this nation is thy people. And He said my presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said, if thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken; for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And He said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And He said, thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock. And it shall come to pass while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by. And I will take away my hand and thou shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen.' Ex. 33:12-23.
What is implied in Moses' prayer?
A desire to know more than he knew of God. He knew comparatively little of God. Something indeed he had known of Him, but he wished to know more--A desire to know that which makes God worthy of the homage and adoration of his creatures, and especially he desired to be so subdued by this knowledge--his heart so fixed in his confidence, as to be prepared for his great work, the work of conducting Israel to the promised land--so subdued that his confidence might be perfect in him, so that he might never fail in his trust and leaning upon the Lord. God had called him to a very arduous work, and he needed a very thorough acquaintance with Him.
That he was disinterested in his desire--entirely for God's glory and the people's good--that he might succeed in the great work of emancipating God's people, and glorifying his name by their establishment in the land of Canaan.
The belief that from the call which he had received of God, to be the leader of Israel from Egypt, he had a right to expect this revelation to his soul. God had called him to a work--he saw that for him to accomplish it, he must have a clearer knowledge of God, to sustain him in his difficult position, and uphold him under discouragement; and he seems to have thought he had a right therefore, to expect that God would not deny him this requisite to success.
What is implied in God's answer to Moses?
It implies that God considers his goodness, his moral attributes, as making up his essential glory. His glory does not consist in his natural attributes--his power, his wisdom, his omnipresence, his eternity--these are awful, they are fearful for us to behold. But his glory lies in his goodness, his moral character, his justice, benevolence, holiness, mercy. All these are but so many forms of his benevolence. God respects Himself, and demands respect and honor of others for his holiness, because He is voluntarily subject to the law of love, of universal and impartial benevolence. And not in one merely, but in all, combined and balanced in due proportion, his glory consists. Mark what He says, 'I will make all my goodness pass before thee.' And what a beautiful and awful revelation it was! 'And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty, [the impenitent]* visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.' This was all of it, the goodness of God--forgiving the penitent, rewarding the obedient, bearing with the rebellious, fulfilling his promise for good to the faithful and confiding, and pouring the vials of fiercest wrath on the incorrigible--all this is the goodness of God, his benevolence under different phases, and all of this, is the essential glory of the living God.
He will be inquired of, to do the things that need to be done for you for his glory. The Bible every where insists on this. Moses prayed, and prayed with great earnestness and importunity--'God show me thy glory.' 'Lord if Thou go not with us, take us not up hence.' The universal example of Bible saints, is one continued stream of prayer, flowing onward in a broad and deep current, with a strong and resistless tide, to the great ocean of God's boundless mercy and compassion.
We are to persevere in this asking. Was Moses to be put off? No indeed. He cries-- 'Show me thy way, that I may know Thee, that I may find grace in thy sight.' God answers, 'My presence shall go up with thee, and I will give thee rest.' But a mere promise is not enough for Moses. 'O Lord, surely Thou wilt go up with us, but O Lord show me thy Glory, let me know Thee, let thy perfections come home with such power to my soul, that they shall never depart therefrom. Lord show me thy glory.' He reminded God that He had called him to bring up the people, and yet he was not prepared. 'Thou hast said to me, bring up this people, and yet thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me.' Moses persevered, and he gained his request. God did for him what he asked. It is exceedingly important that we continue to press upon God, so to speak, for any grace which we need. Let us learn our duty from the Bible, and the relations we sustain, and then, having settled the question that we are in the work to which God has called us, let us come to God with a full assurance of faith that He has promised to be with us always, and that what He has promised, He is able also to perform. Press upon Him your wants. Say to Him--O Lord Thou hast placed me here, Thou hast made me what I am, and I have not strength for the work, I have not knowledge for the labor. O Lord, arm me for the contest, harness me for the battle, fit me for the work. O Lord, thy name will be disgraced if I fail, for Thou hast set me here, thy honor is at stake. What will become of thy great name? 'O God show me thy glory.' Whatever we find ourselves in need of for the success of his work, to which He has called us, we have a right to go and ask for, with perfect confidence, and complete assurance, and we should not let go our suit, till the request is granted. We should come with importunity I said. See how Moses speaks to God at one time, with what confidence and holy familiarity, he addresses his heavenly Father! When God was angry with the rebellious Israelites, and said, 'Let me alone, that my anger may wax hot against them, that I may destroy them from the face of the earth,' Moses besought the Lord. He came, and seizing hold of his hand as it were, 'O Lord,' he cries, 'why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, for whom Thou hast done so much? Why should the Egyptians say, for mischief did He bring them out to slay them? O turn from thy wrath and repent Thee of the evil.' Moses was so importunate, it seemed as though God could not deny him. And thus may we come to God, and cry--are not all thy promises yea and amen in Christ Jesus? Hast Thou not promised, and shall thy word fail? Brethren, is not this directly in point? May we not come to God and ask at all times? Is He not able to save to the uttermost? Shall not 'our strength be equal to our day?' O how strongly my experience testifies to this truth. Many a time, I should have given up all for lost, and sat down in despair, had it not been for such a revelation of God's glory, as to strengthen me for the work I had to accomplish. Always, yes always, when I have gone to God, as Moses did, with the prayer, 'Show me thy glory,' He has never denied me, never, never.
It is easy to see what made Moses' face shine so, when he came down from the mount. The manifestation of God's glory has the same effect always and every where. There was such a clearness, a glory , a brightness, in his countenance, that the people could not look upon him. Christ in the mount, when the glory of God appeared to Him, was transfigured, his raiment was white as the light, and his face was like the sun.
How it affected Isaiah, to behold the glory of the Lord. Isaiah, that man of God. Who could behold, if he could not? One would think his views of God were high and exalted. But see his vision. "I saw the Lord, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim, and one cried to another, and covered his face with his wings, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory!" Think of it! It overcame Isaiah. He cried in despair, "Wo is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts!" He saw the holiness of God as he never saw it before. He was completely overcome, he seemed unable to recover from it, till one of the seraphim came with a live coal from the altar, and laid it on his lips, saying, "Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." O, how much do we need such revelations--new revelations--great and mighty things which we have not known. And then we shall be humbled, subdued under his mighty hand. Mark how Isaiah was subdued to the will of God. When he heard the voice crying, "Who will go for us?" with meek boldness he answered, "Here am I, send me." And so shall we be humbled, and say, "Lord, glorify thy name in us."
Brethren, is it not true, that we need new manifestations of God? One revelation brings need of new and more glorious revelations. Do we not need it? My soul from its depths, my heart from its very bottom, cries out, "O God, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. Let me see and know more of God." Will you pray for me? Will you pray for yourselves? Do we not need it, I say again? Have we not high responsibilities? Who has higher? Now pray in view of your circumstances; besiege the throne; give God no rest; let him have no peace, till He come and revive his work, and make his name glorious.
Link to the whole sermon - http://www.gospeltruth.net/1843OE/431220_gods_glory.htm
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon