This is passage describes the relationship with Adonai that I long for.

[Read Ex. 33:7 – 34:10]

Oh to know you Adonai, and to be known by you!

Even though the camp had been defiled with the golden calf, and Moses had moved his own tent outside the camp (33:7), Adonai was still merciful. As Moses would commune with Adonai, the congregation would watch the Shechinah (Ex. 13:21) stand in the doorway, and they worshiped from afar. The distance reminding them of the distance because of their sin.

But “Adonai spoke with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”[1] How I long for this! And where was Jonathan? Moses cried out for something tangible and practical. Since he will be leading Beni-Yisrael, He cries out to know, the way in which Adonai would lead, so that he can imitate. We are called not just to serve Adonai, but to imitate him. John says, “But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God is truly made perfect. We know that we are in Him by this— whoever claims to abide in Him must walk just as He walked.” (1 Jn. 2:5-6) Why does Moses want to know the ways of Adonai? Look at vs. 13.

Adonai literally promises that “my face” will go with you. This refers back to the Angel of His Presence, in whom rests the Name of Adonai (Ex. 23:20-21). Moses gets it. What is the only thing that makes us distinct from the rest of the World? Why are we different? [Ex. 33:15-16] This was the response that Adonai was looking for. How does Adonai respond?

The heart of Moses, cries out, “Please, show me your glory!”

Adonai’s response is to disclose his nature and character to Moses in an intimate way. Moses is called up the mountain alone, and told to bring two tablets for the covenant to be rewritten. Adonai reveals thirteen different attributes of his character.

“– The Lord! (Adonai)–God is merciful before a person sins! Even though aware that future evil lies dormant within him.

– The Lord! (Adonai)–God is merciful after the sinner has gone astray.

– God (El)–a name that denotes power as ruler over nature and humankind, indicating that God’s mercy sometimes surpasses even the degree indicated by this name.

– Compassionate (rahum)–God is filled with loving sympathy for human frailty does not put people into situations of extreme temptation, and eases the punishment of the guilty.

– Gracious (v’hanun)–God shows mercy even to those who do not deserve it consoling the afflicted and raising up the oppressed.

– Slow to anger (ereh apayim)–God gives the sinner ample time to reflect, improve, and repent.

– Abundant in Kindness (v’rav hesed)–God is kind toward those who lack personal merits, providing more gifts and blessings than they deserve; if one’s personal behavior is evenly balanced between virtue and sin, God tips the scales of justice toward the good.

– Truth (v’emet)–God never reneges on His word to reward those who serve Him.

– Preserver of kindness for thousands of generations (notzeir hesed la-alafim)–God remembers the deeds of the righteous for thebenefit of their less virtuous generations of offspring (thus we constantly invoke the merit of the Patriarchs).

– Forgiver of iniquity (nosei avon)–God forgives intentional sin resulting from an evil disposition, as long as the sinner repents.

– Forgiver of willful sin (pesha)–God allows even those who commit a sin with the malicious intent of rebelling against and angering Him the opportunity to repent.

– Forgiver of error (v’hata’ah)–God forgives a sin committed out of carelessness, thoughtlessness, or apathy.

– Who cleanses (v’nakeh)–God is merciful, gracious, and forgiving, wiping away the sins of those who truly repent; however, if one does not repent, God does not cleanse.”[2]

I also long to look upon his face. One day I will, and my face will change as did Moses’. [2 Cor 3:7-19] [Read Col. 1:15-20]

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the Tree Of Life Version (TLV), 2014.