Paul refers here to the story in Exodus 34 about Moses' 40 days atop Mount Sinai in God's presence. During the time on the mountain, Moses received the Ten Commandments and other laws and ordinances that would govern the spiritual, natural, and social life of the nation for centuries. Apparently, time alone with God has side-effects, since Moses' face glowed so brightly with the Glory of God that the people were afraid to look at him when he got back to camp. He had to put a veil over his face to cover the light shining from him until it eventually faded and things got back to normal.
Paul uses Moses' face, glowing with the reflected glory of God, as a metaphor for coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Paul writes that when we become believers, the veil that has prevented us from seeing the truth in Jesus Christ is removed so we can clearly see his face and our freedom.
There are two side-effects to the removal of this "veil" and of our open-hearted, open-faced time in his presence:
Our unveiled faces begin to shine with reflected radiance of his purity, righteousness, and love, so that all who come in contact with us can see the reflected glory of God in our faces as well. As we allow God's Spirit to work in us, we become more and more like Jesus, and the mirrors of our countenance become more and more polished to reflect God's glory more brightly. If we remain pliable, open to the Spirit's work in us, the light shines brighter and brighter. Pretty amazing, don't you think?! It's not through our own effort that we reflect his light and glory. We can't manufacture or generate the light. We can only reflect it! Jesus said, "Let your light shine!" Don't try to make it shine, simply let it shine!
Father, Please remove the veil that blinds us to your glory and others' needs. May your light so shine through our love and goodness that you will be glorified and honored through Jesus Christ in us. Amen.
Reading: 2 Corinthians 3; Psalm 7
17 Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. 18 And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NLT)
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