I’m not really much of a movie buff. You won’t find me going to a theater very often. But one thing I think I have noticed is that movie trailers seem to have become bigger and bigger deals of late. That, for some at least, the debut of an advertisement or a commercial for a feature film comes with almost as much expectation as the movie itself. I think it’s because people are interested to see what can be gleaned about the movie from a two minute preview. So I’m guessing that a lot of thought goes into what’s put into a movie trailer. It’s intended to reveal enough that you can’t resist the rest.
Kind of made that connection with something I read in Exodus this morning. Let me call it God’s glory trailer.
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you My name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”
(Exodus 33:18-19 ESV)
One of the most inspiring conversations in Scripture is found in Exodus 33:12-23.
Moses: God, show me Your ways so that I can know You and find favor in Your sight.
God: My presence will go with you.
Moses: If Your presence will not go with me, let’s not even start the journey.
God: I’m going with you, you have found favor in My sight.
Moses: Okay then, now show me Your glory!
Taste and see the LORD is good and you just want more. Sip on His promises, you want to drink at the well of His presence. Drink at the well of His presence and you want to hook up to the fire hose of His glory. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matt. 5:6).
And Moses’ hunger for the glory of God would be satisfied. Though he could not look upon God’s face and live (33:2), God devised a plan involving a rock that would allow Moses to know the glory of God. God would make His goodness pass before Moses. God’s glory would be found in God’s name–His nature, His essence. That’s going to happen in Exodus 34.
But God gives Moses a preview of what’s to come in Exodus 33. A hint of that which intrinsically reveals God’s glory. A pre-reveal insight as to what defines God’s magnificence. “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” The LORD’s mercy and His grace . . . that’s God’s glory trailer.
Mercy: not receiving that which I did deserve. The wages of my sin paid by Another. The wrath I deserved for my rebellion poured out upon a spotless Lamb. The death that should have been mine suffered by a once-for-all Substitute.
Grace: receiving that which I did not deserve. Once a sinner, now declared a saint. Once an enemy of God, now adopted and given full rights of inheritance as a child of God. Once stained by iniquity, now having the righteousness of God Himself credited to my account through His Son. Once deserving of death, now gifted with life and life to the full.
That’s the glory trailer, God’s mercy and grace . . . God’s grace and mercy.
Want to see God’s glory? Spend a bit of time noodling on what we have been saved from and what we have been saved for. Snuggle into the cleft of the Rock and watch as His glory is revealed.
How’s that for a much anticipated trailer!
Knowing His grace. Beholding His glory. Declaring His praise!