Hidden In the Cleft of the Rock
"And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence." Exodus 33:19
Moses' request to God was, "Show me your glory." God said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock...I will put you in a cleft in a rock and I will cover you with my hand." Moses was only allowed to see God's presence after He had passed by. While God was passing by Moses had to be "hidden in the cleft of the rock." Never miss the fact, however, that although God's hand was covering Moses, still all God's goodness passed by him and He declared His name, the LORD, Adonai!
Sometimes when we ask God to show us Himself, to reveal more of Himself to us, He answers by hiding us in the cleft of the rock until He has passed by and we are left marveling at His awesome works & presence. For anything more and we would not be able to live: "no one may see me and live." It's interesting that even after all God had done for Moses and the Israelites and all the interaction Moses had already had with him, he was still left longing for God to reveal more of Himself to him.
Just like Moses, when we love God and seek Him, when we recognize His goodness and stand in awe of Him we will always long to know Him more. Sometimes, though, just as Moses was hidden in the rock, God must hide us in the rock...we need to know that it is for His purpose, that ultimately we will feel His presence and know His glory, but we must patiently wait as He passes by, as He works in that situation.
Moses' request in verse 13 was, "if you are pleased with me, teach me your ways, so I may know you and continue to find favor with you." The Lord replied, "My presence will go with you and I will give you rest." Moses' deepest desire was only to be where God is and to know Him more...if this is the cry of your heart, then do not fear if, for a time, God covers you with His Almighty hand and places you in the cleft of the rock. You may not see for a little while, but while you are there, rest, and trust, for He has placed you "near to where He is" and is acting on your behalf in order that you may know Him more. Let Him teach you His ways...and never forget that you are standing on the Rock!