In this week’s Torah portion (Exodus 30:11-34:35), Moses ascended before the Lord several times and returned before the people; however when Moses stood before the people with the second set of tablets which contained the Ten Commandments, his face had become radiant. Why this time had Moses’ face become radiant, while at other times this did not occur?
Although many offer explanations for this taking place, the simple fact is that there must be a connection between Moses presenting the tablets before the people and this miraculous event. There is no doubt that Moses’ face radiated in order to manifest the glory of God. Hence, it was Moses’ presence when the Lord inscribed the words of the Ten Commandments upon the tablets and the fact that Moses took these and presented them before the congregation of Israel that resulted in the people seeing the change that had taken place with Moses. In other words, God caused Moses’ face to reflect the Lord’s glory when presenting the tablets before the people so that they would understand that it is through the word of God that the Lord’s glory is manifested.
This answer however is incomplete. If it was sufficient why didn’t Moses’ face radiate the first time he came down from the mountains with the tablets that he broke? The answer is found in the fact that the first set of tablets was solely the work of the Lord. Moses only received them; but with the second set it was actually Moses who carved out the two tablets. The Lord inscribed the words, but the tablets were made by Moses. What can one learn from this?
One does not manifest the glory of God by simply being present while the Lord moves in a situation. Rather, believers only will manifest God’s glory when they participate in what the Lord is doing. As believers in Messiah Yeshua, we have been endowed and anointed with the Holy Spirit. According to the New Covenant (See Jeremiah 31:32) the Lord has inscribe the Torah (the word of God) on the tablets of our hearts. It is when we prepare our hearts to receive His word that we will also carry out His word and manifest His glory to others.
Moses placed a veil upon his face to conceal the glory, does not this seem odd? Should not Moses have wanted the people to see this glory? In one sense yes, but the veil represented the curtain that divided the Holy of Holies from the Holy place. It is only after Messiah Yeshua’s all sufficient work on the cross that this curtain was torn from the top to the bottom revealing that now believers can drawn near to the presence of God and have a personal Mt. Sinai experience with God and be changed by His glory.