Saturday, 30 January 2010

Explicit Trinitarian Disclosure in the Old Testament

Exodus 33-34 is (for me) one of the high points of the whole Bible.

The God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit all rock up together to meet Moses on Mt. Sinai and make their way known to him. Here's my attempt to show the Old Testament off in the Trinitarian fashion in which (I believe) it was meant to be read. Comments/corrections welcome.

The person/words/actions of the Father are in blue. The person/words/actions of the Son are in red. The person/words/actions of the Holy Spirit are in purple. The whole Trinity is represented in green.

N.B. Presence refers to the Angel of God and the Cloud - ie the Son and the Spirit. Who have accompanied them ever since they left Egypt and whose presence, in the midst of God's people, marks (and has always marked) them out from all the other peoples on the face of the earth.

Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people." The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Then Moses said to him, "If your
Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."

Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."

And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."

Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

The LORD said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain."

So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, one compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. "O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes," he said, "then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance."

There is a holy and eternal interplay here: The Son proclaims and glorifies the Father, then the Father honours and glorifies the Son, as it has always been.

No comments: