Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Exodus 33:21-22 NIV
Moses wanted to see the glory of the Lord, but God said that no one can see his face and live. However, he hid Moses in the cleft of a rock and covered him with his hand so that he could see the back of God after he had passed by. God is too glorious, too holy, too full of splendor and majesty for us to see him and live. He wants us to experience his glory, but at the same time protects us from being destroyed by it by putting us in the cleft of the rock and covering us with his own hand. The rock that was cleft for us was Christ himself.
He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. 2 Samuel 22:2-3 NIV
He was the rock that was cleft by a spear while he hung on Golgotha’s cross. A rock most secure enveloping us within its cleft. A rock securing us from worldly enemies that surround us daily, waging war against our souls. A steadfast rock on which we build our lives. A rock of refuge where we find rest and security.
It is in the rock of our salvation that we find deliverance and freedom. A tight cleft in a rock hardly seems to be a place of freedom from a worldly perspective, but it is the securest place in a tumultuous world. In this rock, not only will we see the back of God, like Moses did when he wanted to see his glory, but we will appear with him in glory.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4 NIV