And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
And the Lord spoke with Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And as a friend, Moses asked the Lord for assurance that he would never leave him on his own to command this people. God assured Moses that his presence would go with them and God would give him rest. Moses said good. Don’t send us unless you go with us. Your presence is our only distinction among the people on the earth.
Then Moses asks to see the Lord’s glory. God’s response is that Moses could not see his face, but he would hide Moses in a cleft of a rock and cover him with his hand as he passed by so Moses could only see God’s hinder parts. After performing all the ritual necessary to ascend into the presence of God, when the requested encounter actually happened, when God showed up as promised…God was so full of his “Godness” that he overflowed in proclamation of his own glory. Imagine the experience Moses had.
While Moses’ eyes couldn’t see, his heart must have almost burst with the overwhelming presence of God in its fullness. And the love of God had to rise within Moses as God worshiped himself out of the overflow of joy.
“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”