Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, May 13, 2023
Day 35: Morning
Divine Revelation Interacting with a Hungry Soul
by David Harwood
At God’s direction, Moses ascended to Sinai’s summit. The Lord descended in the glory-cloud to meet with him there (Exodus 34:4-5). No matter how high we may go to meet with God, He still needs to come down to meet with us. Yahweh descended, He stood with Moses, and immediately began to reveal Himself.
I want to be careful as I write about this sacred event. Firstly, there is some controversy as to who was calling the Name. Was it Moses? Was it Yahweh Himself? Relying upon two Messianic Jewish translations, I will illustrate the difference of opinion. The Tree of Life Version usually capitalizes he (He) when referring to God. It does not do that here. The “he” in the TLV is focusing on Moses.
Then Adonai descended in the cloud, (and) stood with him there, as he called on the Name of Adonai. (Exodus 34:5 TLV)
However, I think that when God came down to stand with Moses that He immediately began to relate to Himself, about Himself, in Moses’ presence. This is the Complete Jewish Bible’s translation:
Adonai descended in the cloud, stood with him there and pronounced the name of Adonai. (Exodus 34:5 CJB)
From my perspective, the Lord Who came down was the pre-incarnate Son of the Living God. He was relating to Father and revealing His relationship to Father. This relationship is described in John 1:1.
In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 TLV)
Obviously, what Moses witnessed and heard is a primary revelation of the eternal unity-relationship within God. It is awesome. Who knew how God related to Himself? Up until this time there were hints. This, this is an awesome peak of holy illumination.
The Lord was revealing what He loves about Himself, to Himself, in front of someone who hungered for a greater revelation about God. This is the equivalent of the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the Knowledge of God interacting with a hungry soul.
When we read of Yahweh descending, it is not a stretch to recall the descent of the Son described in Philippians.
Who, though existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be grasped. But He emptied Himself—taking on the form of a slave, becoming the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man. He humbled Himself—becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8 TLV)
This descent is also celebrated in Ephesians.
Now what does “He went up” mean, except that He first went down to the lower regions of the earth? The One who came down is the same One who went up far above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. (Ephesians 4:9-10 TLV)
When the Lord became flesh, He descended to reveal the One Who is God Most High. The Messiah said to Philip,
He who has seen Me has seen the Father. (John 14:9b TLV)
I love the God Who descends. Don’t you? His victory was secured by His humbling Himself.
It’s the opposite of what I’d expect. It seems weak. It seems foolish. Yet, it is effective.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25 TLV)
As we continue to examine Exodus 34:6-7, let’s focus on the beginning of the revelation. The Lord’s initial revelation of His goodness began with Yahweh saying, “Yahweh, Yahweh.”
And Yahweh passed over before him, and he proclaimed, “Yahweh, Yahweh, God, who is compassionate and gracious.” (Exodus 34:6a LEB)
In the Scriptures, when someone called another’s name twice it was not just to get their attention. It conveyed emotion. Often it communicated affection. Examples of this can be seen in the Lord’s address of Abraham (Genesis 22:11), Martha (Luke 10:41), Saul (Acts 9:4), and Jerusalem (Matthew 23:7; Luke 13:34).
The Lord came down, stood with Moses and began to proclaim the Name of the Lord, calling “Yahweh, Yahweh.” This is the beginning of a revelation about the Triune God’s love within Himself for Himself. It is the introduction of the revelation of God’s goodness to Moses.
It is similar to our asking Yeshua to reveal to us something He loves about the Father that would resonate with us, that we might love Father in fellowship with the Son. The Son of God came to reveal the Father’s favor and faithfulness.
Along those lines let’s pray, “God, please show me how good You really are!”
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 35 of the Omer
Sat 13 May-2023 22nd of Iyar, 5783 Parashat Behar-Bechukotai Day
Le 27:16-34 Jer 16:19-17:14 Jn 14:15-27