sexta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2015


Moses said,
“Now show me your glory.”
The Lord said,
“You will see my back;
but my face must not be seen.”

Exodus 33:18,23 (read 33:18-23) - NIV

In his uncertainty, Moses asked God, "Now show me your glory." He had chosen his new direction in life by only hearing a voice in the desert. This did away with his quiet life as pastor of a flock of sheep which belonged to his father-in-law. He had taken on the task of liberating an unstable ethnic group, which constantly vacillated between joy and rebellion. In this new journey, Moses went through many emotions: fear, doubt, anxiety, surprise, victory, confusion, hope, joy, anger, etc. All of this was without being able to see the "Owner" of that voice.

In response to the request to see him, God put Moses in the cleft of a rock and covered him with his hand and leaving him in the dark. He was not allowed to see the bright divine presence of God passing by. Only after having passed, God allowed Moses to see his receding back.

This episode is a picture of life. Our view is limited. We can see only the part of life that has passed. Life is like walking backwards. We can see the landscapes only as they are receding from us. We are blind to what is approaching. The "face of God" and the future are not accessible to our eyes. We can contemplate only past events.

The darkest moment in Moses’ life was just when God was the closest. The divine hand closed the cleft in the rock when God was near. That moment was a time of deep darkness. Sight came only after the light was receding. For us, too, we never know the meaning of the present moment. With the passage of time we can understand some of its meaning. A painful experience can later be seen as a great blessing in disguise. A "jackpot" can become a nightmare. We never know the future implications of our "now".

Today’s global instability makes us anxious about tomorrow. We would like to have answers. In times of crisis such as we are experiencing, there are many "prophets" to tell us what we want to hear. There are many predictions about the future. People who claim to receive revelations attract followers, because there are those want to know the future.

But knowledge of the future does not belong to us, and it is beyond our control even though we can influence it. We do not know what will happen five minutes from now or if we will still be alive tomorrow. Attempts to predict details are useless. Theories about the end times, the final destination of souls, heaven, hell, purgatory, reincarnation, karma, etc. are only poetic expressions of our desire. Mythologies are created by the subconscious in order to help us deal with the uncertainties. Only God knows. The important thing is the divine presence. The rest is secondary.

When looking around us we can see the brightness of the works of the Creator. In the mirror we can see ourselves only as we have already become. However, we can feel assured that whoever or whatever brought us this far will continue to with us. Hopefully we will eventually be able to marvel at what was beyond our vision and our imagination.



Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

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