The Cleft of the Rock

**  And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: ** Exodus 33:21,22

We have already talked about the first part of this scene here. I at least tried to talk about our ability to see God’s glory by seeing His goodness, grace and mercy. I hope you were able to get something out of my rambling.

While thinking and writing about Exodus 33, I noticed the cleft of the rock passage. Do you wonder why the Lord put Moses there in the rock? I would love to hear your thoughts. I will share my ramblings if you will. 🙂

First the rock. The Lord told Moses to stand on a rock. The Lord didn’t put him there. He had to choose to do it and to obey what the Lord said. We can all find a meaning in that, right? Stand on the Rock. The Rock is Jesus. Make a choice to stand on the Rock and believe in Him. The Lord’s answer was ‘do what I say first and then I will do my part’. I think that is significant. How many times have we heard someone ask the Lord for something but that person doesn’t want to do his part first. He just wants what he wants and isn’t interested in what the Lord wants from him.

He also says that standing on that rock means Moses will be near the Lord. Can you see it?

** And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock ***

There is a place by me….that place was the rock. Our place is the Rock. A place near God. I am loving this passage more and more.

Continuing with the rock…Moses gets up on the rock. It probably gave him new perspective, a better view, more solid footing…all things we also have from standing on our Rock, right?

So, Moses is standing firmly on the rock with great expectation and then…..

** while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand **


What happened to the perfect view? The solid footing? The clear perspective?

Now Moses is being pushed by the Lord into a tight place. He hasn’t left the rock, but instead of a nice flat, comfortable spot to watch God’s glory, he is now squeezed into an uncomfortable, restrictive, limited movement situation. And if that isn’t frustrating enough, now the Lord covers him with His giant hand!!!

One minute everything is clear and promising, then in the next minute Moses can barely move or breathe. He has lost control of the situation. He has lost that comfortable, power-filling moment. He is now completely confused and dependent on what the Lord will do next.

Have you ever been in one of those clefts? Somewhere that the bottom falls out and you can barely keep your footing? Somewhere that no matter where you turn nothing works the way you thought it would? Clefts are painful places to be.

But there, in the cleft, in all of his discomfort and limitations, Moses saw a little bit of the Lord’s glory. Moses wasn’t complaining at all, but his situation and expectation sure changed. He might of been thinking, ‘ this isn’t what I asked for, this isn’t how I thought it would go.’

Doesn’t that happen to all of us? Don’t we ask the Lord for something and then have certain expectations of what the answer will look like, or when it will happen? And then problems come. Discomfort, pain, limitations, powerlessness, surrender maybe?

And then, BOOM!!!!

Out of nowhere, there’s the answer. Bigger, greater, more exciting, beyond our imagination, mind blowing, exceeding abundantly –glory! Not in the middle of the trial, maybe. But after. After the Lord has passed by. Then like a lightning bolt–GLORY!!!

The answer has come.

Moses asked to see the Lord’s glory. And he did.

But it came at a price. And it came God’s way.

Maybe you are in a cleft right now. Maybe the Lord’s hand is still obscuring your view. Just be patient and at peace…

Remember, you are still near to the Lord, He has heard your request and knows your need. He is working while you are stuck and can’t see anyway out of your situation. He is working with His power while you can barely move or breathe.

And it is coming, that special moment.

That God moment.


You see His GLORY!! And now it all makes sense.

One last thought….Moses saw the back part of the Lord…and it was glorious. I would have loved to talk to Moses AFTER that moment to know what He saw.

You and I see the Lord’s glory at the end of each trial. But only a little bit. Maybe only a little of the little that Moses saw. But that’s okay. Because if we saw more, more of the Lord’s glory today….

We wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Am I right?

Let me know what you think!