The Bible tells us that, after Moses had returned from speaking to the Lord on Mt. Sinai, the glory of God was reflected upon Moses’ face (Exodus 34:35). The radiance was so brilliant that a veil had to be placed over his face. It’s important to underscore the fact that it was God’s glory being reflected on Moses’ face and not Moses’ glory being projected from his face. Here is the point: when we come in contact with people and they interact with us, our mission is to be a light unto them. But what do they see? Do they see God’s glory being reflected in our lives? Or do they see our persona – our glory, if you will – being projected upon them? Its extremely important that, when people see us, they see God being faithfully represented in our lives. Our characteristics and attributes should reflect His. Now consider just how God wished to be characterized to mankind.
And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7)
Though He visits the iniquity of the guilty to the third and fourth generation, He extends mercy unto those who love Him to the thousandth generation. The manner in which He described Himself to Moses makes it clear that we should perceive Him as compassionate, merciful and forgiving. Rendering judgment seems to be an action He takes as a last resort. If the generations that receive His justice and His mercy were each placed on a scale – three to four generations one side and a thousand generations on the other, which way would the scale tilt? Obviously, the scale will tilt toward the side that has 1,000 generations – in fact, its not even close. And so the point is, should the Creator be perceived as judgmental, harsh and cruel? Or should we perceive Him as compassionate, merciful and long-suffering?
What has this to do with the reflection of God’s glory upon Moses’ face? When people come in contact with us, what do they see? Do they see someone who is judgmental, harsh and cruel? Or do they see an exhibition of mercy, compassion, and long-suffering? If we are to truly reflect the character and nature of our heavenly Father, then we need to reflect the attributes that describe Him; people should see a faithful representation of God in our lives.
We’re not ignoring the fact that He will not allow the guilty to go unpunished, but He is much more merciful than He is judgmental. If that is His character and nature, then as His people, we must represent that to the world.