In the Cleft

Adopted from Jonathan Seed’s ‘Hiddeness part 7: ‘Hidden in the Cleft of the Rock.


: Moses had on several occasions seen ‘the glory of the Lord’.

• There was a hidden scene in the desert sands (Ex 3), 

• multiple moments on a desert peak (Ex 19),

• and on another occasion, he would even ‘breathe the same air,’ as he shared a meal, in holy fellowship, with the Lord himself (Ex 24). 

There is one aspect of God’s glory, however, that Moses had not experienced until he specifically requested it.

It is difficult for us to comprehend the magnitude of the petition, “show me your glory” (Ex 33.18) but it was an astounding request. 

Transition: The answer to the great petition was clear:“I will make all my goodness pass before your face,” Ex 33.19, and the instructions were even clearer: “You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live” Ex 33.19 (notice a contrast with Songs 2.14).

 “The LORD said, ‘Here is a place by me; you will station yourself on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face must not be seen’” Ex 18.20-23. 

I. Proximity – “a place by me”

This principle is one that must be proven by experience: You will not grow in appreciation of God’s glory from a distance. 

Applications: How often do we neglect the daily discipline of taking our “place” in his presence? Make it a habit, a conscious daily choice, not an arbitrary weekly or bi-weekly decision. 

Question: Where does God abide? How can I find Him and experience Him? 

II. Place/Position

– “you will station yourself on a rock”

Moses knew the territory well and was comfortable on the rocks of Sinai but it was not chosen for sake of familiarity. 


III. Provision/Protection

– “I will put you in a cleft in the rock and will cover you”

‘All of my goodness.’

Few scenes in the books of Moses give such a clear foretaste of our permanent position in Christ (1 Cor 10.4, c.f. Rom 8.1). Not one religion can claim to provide the protection provided by Christ, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish” John 10.28. If you are a true believer “you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Express this position daily with private appreciations of his glory – with God’s Word and by God’s Spirit. 

Question: The places of needed covering?

• Health

• Home

• Faith

• Future

Conclusion: In these rare and difficult times, more than ever we need to be in God’s special place, present among His powerful provision, settled by and surrounded by His glorius presence!

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