A Short Study of Exodus 33:18-19

“And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. “

(Exodus 33:18-19)



Moses, the servant of God, made a very bold request before Almighty God. “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” God, in granting this request makes this amazing and glorious statement, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” Many people in our day only talk about the goodness of God, but never make mention that God is sovereign. Many others only talk of His sovereignty and fail to mention that God delights to show mercy (Psalm 130:7). Our real aim is to show how God can be just and justify the guilty in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:26), how God can be a just God and Saviour (Isaiah 45.21). God is not revealed only by one attribute, but by all His attributes (Psalm 85:10).

Notice, in this text you have the GOODNESS and the SOVEREIGNTY of our God declared, when you put the two together you see the glory of God. God is good and that same God is sovereign. God is not gracious alone, He is sovereignly gracious. He is not sovereign alone, but He is graciously sovereign. Therefore, let us not be timid in declaring all that the scriptures declare about our LORD (Acts 20:27). We see his GOODNESS AND SOVEREIGNTY declared in creation (Colossians 1: 16), in providence (Romans 8:28), and most certainly in salvation (John 17:2). Where better do we see the GOODNESS AND SOVEREIGNTY displayed but in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. God so loved that he gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16), that’s His goodness. He loved us, not because of something loveable in us, but because God is love (1st John 4:10-16). While God’s goodness is His glory, the very glory of His goodness is His sovereignty, “I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (John 1:13; John 17:2; Romans 9:15-16).

May our sovereign King be pleased to grant this request unto us! Oh, for a glimpse of His glory as it brilliantly shines in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ crucified and exalted for us (1st Corinthians 2:2). LORD, put us in the cleft of the smitten Rock that we may see and rejoice in your glory and not be consumed (Exodus 33:20-23).

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2nd Corinthians 4:6)


T. Harding

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