The American culture finds it repulsive for a woman to sweat. We can even name it, “Dewy,” if we should be caught having the unthinkable happen! It is not acceptable for a woman to have a shiny face. Public restrooms are filled with women who have their make up kits out to remove the grease that created that shiny nose.
Last month, my husband and I went to a retreat for Pastors and spouses. The purpose is to take us away from our ministries to take time to pause and soak in. The speakers were fabulous, the games hilarious, and the worship music over-the-top wonderful. It is a moving sight to see pastors and spouses showing the God they serve how they feel in a multitude of expressions. But there was one pastors wife that always had me turning my head her way through out those days together. On her face was the most incredible, indescribable expression of adoration, joy, peace and love that I think I have ever seen. Her face glowed! I have no idea if her face was shiny, but it sure did glow!
Today I was reminded of her as I read this Scripture as part of my devotions:
29 …Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, 35 the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him. (Exodus 34:29-35)
The shiny skin on the face of Moses was to show the people that the true and living God had been speaking to him. As one commentator put it: “He carried his credentials on his very countenance.” I have always been saddened that the people were so afraid of his shiny face that he had to put a veil on to cover it up. Imagine being so close to the very glory of the Lord! Imagine if they hadn’t been afraid, and instead had wanted more and had gotten as close to him as possible and all of those closest to him would have had shiny faces, too?! Instead, Moses placed a veil over his shiny face except when he went in to meet with God intimately, where the veil could be removed, where God could see him as he was, shiny face and all.
LORD, show me Your glory!
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’