Too Much of a Good Thing

I seem to be in a never-ending pursuit to get to know God better, but the more I get to know Him, the more I realize He’s not telling me.

Since the garden of Eden, God has been intentionally pulling back from His people, putting firebreaks between their sinfulness and His awesome holiness so that they would not combust. In Exodus 33:18-23, Moses is approaching this God, and he says, “Show me Your glory!”

And God said, “’You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!’ Then the Lord said, ‘Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.’”

I always looked at this passage just one way: that God’s holiness was a fire (Hebrews 12:29), and Moses was flammable. Certainly, that’s still true, but God didn’t actually warn Moses about the effects of His holiness. He warned him about the effects of His goodness.

“I Myself will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”

This is what we cannot stand. Enter Jesus.

Jesus is all that God is, distilled down into a human body (Colossians 2:9). He is the invisible God made visible, the impossible God made relatable (Colossians 1:15). He is all of God’s goodness in a manageable form, a non-deadly form. The form we could see and hear and touch and not die. God, so much goodness we’d just quake into dust at the sight of Him, sent Goodness incarnate to show us what love looks like. Goodness, the thing that would kill us if we got too much of it, died for us so that we could experience His goodness forever (Ephesians 2:4-7). Because of Jesus, we will never overdose. God can lavish His goodness on us forever, and we’ll have too much of a good thing.