So God sets it up to show Moses more of his Glory but to protect him from the full revelation of Glory by putting him in a cleft of a rock; clearly in those previous face to face conversations God was holding much back.
During the actual revelation of Glory, God proclaims who he is; this then is his glory:
The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
I did not like that last bit at all, the first bit is awesome and worth meditating on for sure but so is the punishing bit. It is an aspect of God’s glory that he punishes sin. His eternally holy character will not let sin go unpunished. The Lord’s punishment, at its heart is about restoring righteousness which God will accomplish and is accomplishing.
We have to read the rest of Scripture to see how God’s eternal glory is revealed through punishment. I must shorten the story… the glorious punishing God, as revealed to Moses, in the fullness of time incarnates himself in human flesh and actually takes all the punishment for all sin upon himself.
I’m not sure if the weight of this glory has ever landed on me before. I have become comfortable and thankful with the idea that Jesus sacrificed himself for me to pay for my sins. I could admit that I was a sinner, that was Ok and I could accept that he needed to die to pay for my sins but strangely I really don’t like the idea that he was literally punished for my actual sin. My heart cries out to the Father, “he can pay for my sin Father and if payment needs to occur through his shed blood well OK but please don’t punish him”. The word “pay” is easier for me to handle than the word “punish” especially when it is my punishment he is taking.
I think I know now, how I am going to respond on that glorious day when I see him face to face, I am most likely to fall at his feet and weep, weep for the fact that my Lord was punished for me, it will begin with sorrow and then turn to weeping of gratitude then I will get up and look in his face and I shall be like him for I shall see him as he is.