When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.
Gazing Into the Face of God
There’s a famous work of art by Michaelangelo, in which Moses is pictured with horns on his head. Why is that? It’s because the Hebrew word for “shine” is the same as the word for “horn,” and apparently, the Bible Michaelangelo used had translated it as “horn.”
While that’s just a bit of (interesting?) trivia, there’s an important truth behind it. The word “horn” denotes “power, majesty, authority.”
Now think about this scene: Moses’ face is shining because he’s been in the presence of God. What kind of power and authority would it take to cause that to happen? Why, it would take amazing power, stupendous power! And God has that kind of power.
Do you and I fully realize the amazing power of our God? Do we comprehend his majesty? Do we approach life in such a way as to make it clear that we recognize God’s power, God’s majesty? The Israelites—when they gazed at Moses’ face—were afraid! How much more would we fear if we were to gaze into the face of God himself! At Jesus’ transfiguration, Peter, James, and John got a taste of it, as Jesus gave them a glimpse of his full glory. They were terrified!
But thank God that Jesus walked back down that Mount of Transfiguration. He again veiled his glory, exchanging it for the humility of going to the cross to win salvation for us. The amazing grace of God!
That amazing grace of God is yours, for he won forgiveness for you. And so someday, you and I will get to gaze into that face of God, and we will get to do so without fear.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for failing to appreciate your full glory. Fill me with appreciation for your saving love, that you were willing to lay aside your glory to save me. Lead me to reflect your glory in my life now, and to look forward to that day when you’ll receive me into eternal glory. Amen.