God's response? Moses could see His glory, but not from the front - for no one could see the face of God and live. No one was worthy enough for that. So God hid Moses in the cleft of the rocks. After God passed by, then Moses saw God's glory from the back. Now according to my theology professor, Martin Luther felt that 'back' wasn't the proper translation. He maintained the proper translation was instead 'backside'. (Luther dealt with this in a sermon titled The Ass of God.) When I first heard this, I leaned over to one of my classmates and whispered, "You gotta be kidding me. Luther's telling us that God mooned Moses."
My warped imagination, remembering how Moses came back from his encounter with God white as a sheet, conjured up this imaginary exchange between Moses and Joshua as Moses returned. (I've got Pa Grape's voice from the VeggieTales in my mind).
- Joshua: Moses! Moses! You're white. What happened?
- Moses: Oh Joshua... I asked to see His face... Don't ever ask to see His face, Joshua.
The God, who back in Exodus 33 had to hide His face because He was so holy, was hung naked on a cross for all mockers and mourners to see. This probably didn't hurt His body like being flogged and crucified. It probably didn't hurt Jesus' spirit like being separated from His Father. But really... the indignity of it all. What incredible restraint to not wipe everyone on the scene out. What incredible love to forbear such dishonor. I don't even know what to say.