God’s Goodness and Glory

Read Together: Exodus 33:17–34:9  

Our biggest need as followers of Jesus is to know our God more in Christ. A deeper knowledge of God and a sight of his glory banishes our sinful fears and gives us strength to live in the fear of the Lord. On Sunday, we considered what it means to be captivated by a sight of God’s glory and how a bigger view of God helps us drive out our fears. We learned from Moses that we are fearless when we keep the unseen God ever before our eyes.

Moses had a driving desire to see more and more of God’s glory—to see more of the magnitude of who God is. Even after seeing the ten plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, God’s provision of manna, and the giving of the Law, Moses wanted more. He asks God in Exodus 33:18, “Please show me your glory.” He had seen glimpses of God’s glory before, and he wanted to see more of who God is.

God grants his request. The Lord replies that he will make all his goodness pass before him and proclaim to Moses his divine Name, the LORD (Yahweh). Yet even this display of God’s glory will be limited. Moses, as a sinful human being, cannot get a full glimpse of Yahweh’s face. But he does see in Exodus 34:6–7 another glimpse of God’s beauty and character.

Our God is the God of such glory and beauty that would strike us down dead if we saw it fully in our current sinful state. He is good and just, forgiving and judging, beautiful and fearful. We need this kind of glimpse of the glory of our God as we live on mission for Jesus. We need the desire of Moses every day as we face fears, troubles, anxieties, and suffering. In beholding our God by faith, we grow to love him more, serve him more faithfully, and long for the day when we will see him face to face (Rev 22:4).

Discussion Questions

  1. How does God describe his glorious character in Exodus 34:6–7?
  2. How is Jesus the perfect image or display of this description of God’s character?
  3. How does a glimpse of God’s glory in Christ help us drive out our sinful fears?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “The Center of the Universe” in The Biggest Story Bible Storybook (pages 512–17). This is a retelling of Revelation 4–5. Discuss with your kids who God is and what Revelation 4–5 teaches us about who God is and how this helps us to love him and live for him without fear.

Memorization: “The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6–7).

Song: Listen to “Show Me Your Glory” (Third Day).

Pray Together

  • Praise God that he is the God of glory and beauty who is infinitely worthy of our lives and our love.
  • Confess before God that we are often captivated by anything but his glory. We are captivated by our sin, our stuff, our fears, and on and on, but we often neglect to look to him and his perfect character.
  • Give thanks to God that he is good and just, forgiving and judging, beautiful and fearful and that in Jesus we can see his glory by faith.  
  • Pray that God would help us to live without fear because his glory has captivated our gaze.

Go Together

  • One of the applications from Sunday’s sermon had to do with how we read the Bible. Often, we read only for practical application. We ask the question: what does this mean for me today? This is not a bad question to ask, but it is not the only question or the main question we should ask. As we read the Bible, we should be asking: what does this teach me about God? How does this give me a glimpse of God’s glory and character, displayed most clearly in Jesus? As a family and as individuals, make a commitment to ask these kinds of God-centered questions first as you read the Bible this week.
  • If it helps, write down the question, “What does this teach me about God?” on a small piece of paper or index card and stick it in your Bible as a bookmark that you’ll see each time you go to read the Bible.


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