1 June, 2023

Exodus 34

Exodus 34 Devotional


“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the LORD.” 

Exodus 34:29 (NLT) 

My wife and I both have milestone birthdays this year and we wanted to do something memorable for our kids, so we booked a proper bucket list family holiday – sun, sand and camel riding! One of the great things about escaping Northern Ireland to sunnier climes is the opportunity to get a good bit of Vitamin D – wall-to-wall sunshine. It was glorious! And all of us managed to get some colour – a good old holiday tan. But the problem with holiday tans is that they just don’t last; they fade away. 

When Moses meets God for the second time to receive the terms of God’s covenant – his promise to make the nation of Israel his holy nation, to go before them and protect them for as long as they would follow his commands – Moses is transformed by the encounter. It says that ‘the LORD came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh’ (Ex. 34:5, NLT). God was physically present with him (no distance there) and he reveals his name (as a sign of intimacy). And this revelation leaves Moses glowing – Exodus 34:29 tells us that ‘his face had become radiant’. This radiance, this reflection was noticeable to the people of Israel. But a bit like my holiday tan, his glow faded after time away from the physical presence of God. It wasn’t permanent – it needed a top-up. 

The Apostle Paul picks up on this story in 2 Corinthians 3, telling us that the glory that had been revealed to Moses was designed to fade away because the glory of the old covenant was based on adherence to God’s commands. Thankfully for us, our glory – our Christ-reflection – is based on a new covenant that is founded on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Through Jesus’ sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit in us to transform us into His likeness, we can reflect the glory of God: 

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT 

Each of us have the potential to reflect the influences around us and what is within us, but for Christ- followers, we have the potential through the Holy Spirit, to reflect the glory of God, and unlike Moses that glory will never fade away. 

Today, may you talk with your Heavenly Father and ask Him to transform you into His likeness, into His glory. Ask Him to reveal to you those thought patterns and ways of living that are not fully reflective of his image. No more temporary tans or faded glory – through Christ we can be made into the complete image of God. Now that’s more beautiful than any holiday tan.

One comment on “Exodus 34”

  1. “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34‬:‭5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “Into me see”. Intimacy. A play on words in a song but truth. As we look at Jesus, sit in His presence, and let Him gaze at us and know us totally, we then begin to see ourselves through His eyes. Not the eyes of condemnation, “You did that again, you’re not good enough…” but rather the loving, searching eyes that acknowledge us as children of the Most High God, and call us on to walk as children of the light. “In Your light, we see light.” We see our sin more starkly, all the times we have made treaties with our enemy (like the Israelites were warned not to do because it would lead them astray, away from the true worship of God) but the glorious truth of the New Covenant is that we have free access to the forgiveness of God! What’s more He is committed to making us whole and changing us into what we were made to be originally: people who reflect the glory of God. I am glad to be on that journey. Doubly glad that Holy Spirit God living in me is committed to transformation. All our life experiences, good or bad, will in His kind and loving hands serve His purposes in our lives and change us, and we will end up looking like Jesus.


Christian Fellowship Church is a Christ centred community dedicated to impacting Belfast, Ireland and the nations with the love of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.


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