Exodus 33

Talks for Growing Christians

The People Repent; Moses Asks to See the Lord's Glory

Exodus 33

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Lesson Number 36

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. There are different degrees of guidance from the Lord.
  2. There are different degrees of fellowship with the Lord.

Practical Application

  1. If the Lord will not go, then don’t go!


  1. What is the context of Exodus 33?
  2. Why did the Children of Israel take off their ornaments and jewelry (verse 6)?
  3. Is the tent of meeting different from the Tabernacle?
  4. Why did the Lord promise His personal guidance to the people?
  5. What does it mean that the Lord spoke to Moses “face to face” (verse 11)?
  6. How do we harmonize Exodus 33:22-23, John 1:18, and 1 Timothy 6:16?


  1. This chapter follows the sad incident of the golden calf. There we saw the idolatry and immorality of the people, Moses’ intercession, and God’s discipline and judgment.
  2. The people were mourning and showing their repentance. God had told Moses that He would not go on to the land of Canaan in their midst, but would send an angel to lead the way.
  3. The tent of meeting was a temporary tent where the Lord would meet with Moses before the Tabernacle was constructed.
  4. Because of the people’s repentance and Moses’ prayer
  5. The idea is that Moses had direct, unhindered fellowship with God.
  6. No one has seen the essence of Deity, but some have seen a visible appearance of God when God has chosen to assume an outward form.


  1. There were degrees of guidance from the Lord not based on the Lord’s ability, but on the people’s commitment. The Lord promises to give us guidance today. Are you willing to follow wherever the Lord might guide you?
  2. Moses enjoyed a greater degree of fellowship with the Lord than the average Israelite. Likewise today our degree of fellowship is not limited by the Lord but by us. How can you “open the door” to deeper fellowship with the Lord? Revelation 3:20.


  1. Moses’ example in this chapter is great! Ask yourself this week, “Would the Lord go where I’m going?” If the Lord will not go, then don’t go!

Key Verses

  • “Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” Exodus 33:15
  • “Please, show me Your glory.” Exodus 33:18
  • “So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.” Exodus 33:22

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