Exodus 33:12-23 – You shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen

 EXODUS 33:12-23

12Moses said to the LORD, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’13Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.”

17The LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” 18Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.” 19And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The LORD’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” 21And the LORD continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; 22and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation, paying attention to the breath.
  • Who is God sending with you on your journey?
  • How has this kept you moving forward?
  • What do you see when you look back?
  • How is this answered prayer?
  • Where do you see God’s fingerprints?
  • Where did God cover you?
  • Where is God leading you next?
  • Is there a message or a call to action for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to examine the journey and for any  new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 16, 2011,  the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 33:12-23
Psalm 99:1-9
I Thessalonians: 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD