Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 3, 2020

“For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people?”

This is a special devotion based on the following Scripture.

“For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people?  Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”

The LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken;  for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.”  Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”  And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you;  and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”  But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”  Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;  and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.  Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”  Exodus 33:16-23.

———————-

Moses asked two questions which God answered by which we can learn how we can know that we are the elect, God’s chosen people.  Moses asked:  “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people?  Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”  Verse 16.

Although God did directly state that He favored Moses, He said more which helps us learn how we can know that we are the elect, God’s chosen people.

“And He (God) said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you;  and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”  Verse 19.

In other words, after God’s goodness to us (so to speak, after God’s goodness passes before us), God makes us understand by His Spirit that He was good to us and thereby makes us understand that we are His elect, His chosen people.

As God covered Moses with His hand, often we do not understand God’s goodness to us until it passes us by.  We see something approach, but it often may appear meaningless or it even may appear bad to us.  But, after it passes by, God reveals by His Spirit that it was a blessing to us and that He is continually faithful and good to us.

We can understand this point through “TULIP”, and we can also understand this point through our many daily life experiences.

Regarding the points of “TULIP”, although God the Father was certainly good to us before the foundation of the world when He unconditionally elected us, “Unconditional Election”, obviously we were not yet born to understand His goodness to us at that time.  When Christ, God the Son, died for us, “Limited Atonement”, we were also not yet born at that time to understand all the saving gifts that he purchased for us through His death.  We also were not aware at the time when the Holy Spirit, God the Spirit, pervaded our inmost recesses and softened our hardened heart and infused new qualities into our will and caused us rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit  (“Irresistible Grace”).  Finally, we have thought during times of our life that we were drifting away from God, but God preserved us (“Preservation of the Saints”).

Regarding our many daily life experiences, many times we also do not understand the benefit of what we experience at that time.  But, the Spirit later reveals to us how they were blessings to us and the Spirit also causes us to understand that God was continually faithful and good to us.

“9 but just as it is written,

“THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit;  for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:9-10.

Thus, in summary, after we receive God’s goodness, the Spirit reveals to us that they were blessings to us, the Spirit causes us to understand that God was continually faithful and good to us, and the Spirit causes us to understand that we are the elect, God’s chosen people.

Now, why does God make us wait?  Why cannot we see from the beginning that the thing that approaches us is for our good?

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope;  for who hopes for what he already sees?”  Romans 8:24.

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”  1 Peter 1:6-7.

There is also the danger that we would get proud and fat and lazy (rather than be humble and dependent on the Lord) if we could see from the beginning that the thing that approaches us is for our good.

“3 For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no pains in their death,
And their body is fat.
5 They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like mankind.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
7 Their eye bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart run riot.
8 They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
9 They have set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue parades through the earth.”  Psalm 73:3-9.

We may wonder and have to wait, but there is hope!

“16 When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.”  Psalm 73:16-18.

“The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.”  Psalm 25:14.

Here is what the Canon of Dordt states in part about how we can learn that we are the elect, God’s chosen people, in the section titled FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

Article 12.  The elect in due time, though in various degrees and in different measures, attain the assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election, not by inquisitively prying into the secret and deep things of God, but by observing in themselves with a spiritual joy and holy pleasure, the infallible fruits of election pointed out in the Word of God – such as a true faith in Christ, filial fear, a godly sorrow for sin, a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, etc.

Article 16.  Those who do not yet experience a lively faith in Christ, an assured confidence of soul, peace of conscience, an earnest endeavor after filial obedience, and glorying in God through Christ, efficaciously wrought in them, and do nevertheless persist in the use of the means which God hath appointed for working these graces in us, ought not to be alarmed at the mention of reprobation, nor to rank themselves among the reprobate, but diligently to persevere in the use of means, and with ardent desires, devoutly and humbly to wait for a season of richer grace.  Much less cause have they to be terrified by the doctrine of reprobation, who, though they seriously desire to be turned to God, to please him only, and to be delivered from the body of death, cannot yet reach that measure of holiness and faith to which they aspire;  since a merciful God has promised that he will not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed.  But this doctrine is justly terrible to those, who, regardless of God and of the Savior Jesus Christ, have wholly given themselves up to the cares of the world, and the pleasures of the flesh, so long as they are not seriously converted to God.

God showed in His glory to Moses, and to us today, that He deserves all credit for our salvation.

Moses prayed:  “show me Your glory!”

We often so focus on speculating on the awesome physical sight of what Moses saw, namely the back of the LORD, that we neglect the glory of God’s statement:  “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”  Verse 19.

This statement is later repeated by Paul in his letter to the Romans where he comments on it.  “For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.

This is Who God is.  This is the name of the LORD Which He proclaims.  This is how God describes Himself.  “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you;  and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”

But, many prefer to just describe God as a God of love, falsely teaching that God loves everybody, Christ died for everybody, and that man gets the credit and glory and reason to boast for distinguishing himself worthy of salvation by contributing his own works or at least his own alleged free-will choice of Christ.

But, what does Scripture state?

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

“So then it (our salvation) does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:16.

God gets all the credit and all the glory for our salvation.

While we wait, there is hope!

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”  Romans 8:13-14.

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba!  Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”  Romans 8:15-17.


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