The DEEP

Humility

is key.

Exodus 40:34-38 (ESV)

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.

There’s a puzzle here. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses talked with God many times. Now he’s locked out. Why?

The passage says that it’s, “because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” But what does that mean? Exodus 33:18-20 gives us a clue.

Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” (ESV)

Another clue is the dictionary definition of tabernacle.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tabernacle

Scroll down the page to the definition of tabernacle as an intransitive verb. The root of this word is “dwell.” Now that the tabernacle is built and consecrated, the LORD dwells there – more explicitly than he did at Moses’s tent when that was the meeting place. Now His glory fills the tabernacle. No one can look on Him and live – not even Moses.

That’s important. Otherwise, this idolatrous bunch might worship Moses the way we worship sports stars and movie stars (or worse, if that’s possible). Moses is the head of state, but God is the boss.

He even controls when they break camp.


We should pray for our nation’s leaders regularly. That’s a recurring theme here. This time let’s specifically pray for their humility – something they seem dreadfully short of. Recent events have given them plenty of grounds for humility, but instead we see politics as usual (or worse, if that’s possible).

This is a bold prayer. Humility in politics would be a big surprise. Don’t take this prayer request lightly.

Humility often comes in bunches. Our government feels ripe for a reckoning.

No DEEP tomorrow. Next week – Ephesians. This will be just Monday-Friday for 7 weeks.


The weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.