Several years ago I ran a half marathon in my community. The community support for this event amazed me and I was delighted by all of the signs people put up along the route to encourage the runners. Many of the businesses along the route had signs, and my favorite was the one in front of the Kitty Hawk Police Department. Theirs read:
You can run, but you can’t hide. Good luck from the Kitty Hawk Police!
It makes me laugh to this day!
Have you ever tried to run away from God’s instruction, correction, or will for your life? Have you ever tried to hide from God? I have. In addition to the many times I tried to hide my sin and shame from him, I also tried to hide from my calling to become an ordained pastor. The idea of three years of seminary and pursuing the arduous process of ordination when I was a young wife and mother of preschoolers was terrifying. I put a veil of non-compliance over my face for two years and tried to pacify God with over-volunteering at the church to see if that would work.
God sees through our veils.
Moses found himself in a situation where he had to veil the glory of God when God was establishing his Law on Mount Sinai. The importance of this event cannot be overstated. Think for a moment of how much the Law of the Ten Commandments informed the rest of our covenant relationship with God. These important rules are part of secular law even today, regardless of whether or not you can find them in a modern day courthouse. Governments can take them off the lawns or walls, but they are imbedded in how we act as a society.
When Moses encountered God, his face would glow to the point where it brought fear to the people:
Exodus 34 (Common English Bible)
29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two covenant tablets in his hand, Moses didn’t realize that the skin of his face shone brightly because he had been talking with God.30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw the skin of Moses’ face shining brightly, they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called them closer. So Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and Moses spoke with them. 32 After that, all the Israelites came near as well, and Moses commanded them everything that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.
And so the glory of God reflecting off of Moses’ face had to be tempered by a veil until the people could grow accustomed to it. But in God’s presence, the veil came off:
34 Whenever Moses went into the Lord’s presence to speak with him, Moses would take the veil off until he came out again. When Moses came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 the Israelites would see that the skin of Moses’ face was shining brightly. So Moses would put the veil on his face again until the next time he went in to speak with the Lord.
It is fruitless to try to veil yourself in God’s presence. He sees right through it. It is fruitless to try to run from God. He can outrun you by half a marathon.
Are you running from God? Are you trying to hide your sin and shame? It’s time to come clean and come home. When you face your situation openly and honestly, you will find that God is waiting to receive you with open arms of forgiveness and acceptance.
The repentant heart is never rejected.