Could you look at God? Could you look right into His face? As Moses stands in the presence of God, facing the bush that would not be consumed by the fire, he hears someone speaking. The voice says that the ground ahead is holy; Moses had to remove his sandals. But this encounter does not end there.
The voice then reveals Who is speaking. He says, “I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses realizes he is in the presence of God, that he is encountering God, he covered his face. Why conceal his face from God? Fear of God. He was afraid to look at God.
This fear of God is not wrong. Each one of us should fear God. We are meant to fear God. Moses recognizes at that moment that he is a sinner standing before a holy God. Immediately he acknowledges that he is unworthy by hiding his face. At this point in the story, God shares with Moses the great plan to redeem His people. One of the awesome things we read is that God is going to use unqualified Moses to help His chosen people. Today, consider if you have had a true encounter of Jesus Christ. Have you turned and hid your face when before our holy God? Have you recognized your great need for Jesus Christ? We all need Jesus!
“’I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” – Exodus 3:6 [NLT]
Moses was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5). Joshua was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Joshua 5:15). Holy means set apart or sacred. One of my favorite passages references Isaiah’s commission. Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on His throne and He is in complete awe and reverence as he hears the words, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” He knows he is unclean. He knows he is undeserving.
It is important to approach God with fear and awe. The fear is not the fear we consider when we typically speak of fear. When Proverbs 1 speaks of the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom, it doesn’t mean we are frightened as we are when watching a horror movie. Fearing God means that you have a fear of disobeying and displeasing God which would result in judgment and a disconnection from Him. It is about reverence and submission. God is holy and exalted above all. It is approaching with humility.
Yes, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us and when we repent we are forgiven of our sins. Yes, the veil has been torn and we can approach God once again. But it is important that we still approach God with fear and awe. The song says you have a friend in Jesus, and you do, but that is to be treasured not stomped on. When you approach God in prayer, in church, wherever—don’t take it for granted. Focus on Him. Remember He is holy and you too are to be holy. May your heart be filled with a passion and desire to worship, to truly worship Him, with all that you have and all that you are, each and every day.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ’Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’” – Isaiah 6:1-5 [NIV]