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Seeing the Backside

Have you ever seen a person at a distance with his back toward you and thought he was someone you knew? Why he sure looks like Rick. He has the same color hair and build. As you approach him and see his face, you happily acknowledge it is Rick.

Moses at one time had a backside experience. Moses was feeling overwhelmed by his great responsibility of leading God’s people out of Egypt, from forty years of slavery, and into the desert toward the land God had promised His people.

Moses had been called by God for this task. He was a special person who was actually able to approach God’s presence, have a conversation with Him, and still live. Now Moses wants to know who God will send with him to help lead the people of Israel through the desert to their destination. God’s reply was that His presence would go with him (Exodus 33: 12-23, NIV). God’s visible presence led with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night for light.

Moses shows his heart’s desire when he then asks God, “Now show me your glory.” God loves  a spiritual hunger. He replies, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence…but you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live. There is a place near me where you may stand…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. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back but my face must not be seen” (Exodus 33:18-22, NIV).

Many centuries later, God did show us His backside when He sent Jesus His Son. There were many who didn’t recognize Him from the front. Maybe it was because they didn’t have the relationship Moses had with God and were not even familiar first with the backside. Perhaps  they didn’t have the heart’s cry that Moses had: “teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” Or maybe they didn’t know God’s reply: “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name” (Exodus 33:13, 17, NIV).

To recognize someone from the backside means you have spent a fair amount of time with that individual. Could that be why Jesus wasn’t recognized, even though God’s guiding principles had been with them for hundreds of years?

Would you recognize Him from the backside? Spend time with Jesus, and, like Moses, you will want to cry out, “Show me your glory.” That is the way you feel when you meet with Him; you want more of Him. When we do, well, isn’t that Jesus standing over there with His back toward us? It sure looks like Him.

Florence Simmons writes to encourage people to invite more of Christ into the moments of their day. Check out her website and her MOBI www.commensensewisdom.MOBI. Email her at