“Make thy face to shine upon thy servant.”

Exodus 34:1-5, 28-35

In our present reading we shall see how the Lord reopened his communications with Israel, though their sin had abruptly broken up all the treaty engagements almost before they were ratified.

Exodus 34:1

Here let us learn that although man has broken the law of God, yet the Lord in infinite mercy to his people visits them again, causes their hearts to be hewn and prepared by his prophets and ministers, and then writes the law upon those fleshy tablets. The law in the heart is better than the law on stone.

Exodus 34:2

Moses must go up a second time and sojourn with the. Lord, and the people must thus be tried to see if they can wait upon God in their leader’s absence.

Exodus 34:3

Distance was always the rule of the law. Moses went up to God alone, but Jesus takes all his people with him.

Exodus 34:4

Note, that Moses, like other good men, was up betimes in the morning. Matthew Henry says, “the morning is as good a friend to the graces as it is to the muses.” God loves punctual servants.

Exodus 34:5

He declared the nature and the attributes of Jehovah.

Exodus 34:28

In being miraculously supported for forty days without food, Moses, as the law, is followed by Elijah, the chief of the prophets, and our Lord Jesus, in whom the gospel is revealed.

Exodus 34:29

After such long communion Moses came down enriched with the best treasure, and adorned with the best beauty. What he had seen was unconsciously reflected from him, as it always is from those who have had fellowship with God.

Exodus 34:30

Everybody could see the brightness of Moses face except himself; and the same may be said of the man who communes with God.

Exodus 34:33

In this he was unlike most men, for they are usually far too ready to show their brightness to everybody, coveting admiration. Modesty dwells with true excellence.

Exodus 34:34

Before God we must be all unveiled. All things are open before him.

Exodus 34:34

God’s ministers may learn here their only theme.


Lord, from thy burning throne on high,

Thy law comes forth in majesty;

Its glory shines with beams so bright,

No mortal can sustain the sight.


But through thy Son, th’ incarnate God,

Thy milder radiance shines abroad;

His flesh becomes the Godhead’s veil,

And beams of grace and love prevail.


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