The Veil

You will remember the great Hebrew leader, Moses.

His extraordinary childhood found him being cared for by Pharaoh’s daughter and he spent the first 40 years of his life in the royal courts of Pharaoh until he tried to defend a fellow Hebrew only to become a fugitive.

He spent the next 40 years tending his Uncle’s herds.

It wasn’t until he was 80 that his main life’s work began.  He was called to confront Pharaoh again and lead God’s grumbling people for 40 years across the wilderness to the Promised Land.  

You’re never too old to be useful to God, you see.

During the time in the wilderness there were a number of times God called this octogenarian up the mountain and spoke with him. He must have been a pretty fit octogenarian.

When he came down from the mountain to pass on what God had told him, having been in the presence of God, his skin shone with such a glow that the people could not cope with seeing it so Moses covered his face with a veil.  He took the veil off when he went to talk with God then put it on again when he came back.

Imagine this happening to you.

You go to talk with God.  You might have been praying, or reading the Bible to find out what God wants.  When you do you don’t hide behind a veil.  There’s no point trying to hide anything from God so you just go and talk with him, you go and listen to him. 

It’s stupid to hide behind a veil with God. And, in any case, the Bible tells us we can approach him boldly, with confidence, openly and honestly.

It’s a lovely thought that when you have been with God in prayer like this there is a glow about you that people can notice.  Perhaps not such a glow that you need a veil because you have such a glow about you - that people know you have been with God, that you are on speaking terms with him, that you are in a position to pass on the news God gave you.

But the reality is that it’s not often enough that we get that close to God so we don’t need a veil.  Sadly, we tend to put one on anyway.

We are so seldom comfortable opening up to people about what we have learned from God that we wear a virtual veil to hide behind.

Unfortunately, we limit God’s message to people by wearing this mask, a virtual veil and, to make matters worse, the people we want to share Jesus with also have veils.

It’s shameful that we wear these veils because we have such good news, such news we can be so confident of.  We read this in 2 Corinthians 3:12-16

2 Corinthians 3:12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 

We have a hope, a sure and certain hope, an expectation that comes with a guarantee from God himself that we are his children, that we have an eternal future, and eternal life so because we have this assurance we are very bold in our sharing of the gospel of Jesus. Well, at least we can be, we should be.

Wo when we share what God has told us we don’t put a veil over our face as Moses did. We just share it up front and confidence.

Unfortunately when we talk to people who live under the teaching of the Old Testament their minds are made dull and to this day they see the good news which is there in the Bible as if looking through a veil. It is clouded and they cannot see their saviour who was predicted and described all through the Old Testament.

But they are not the only ones with veils.

What happens when we try to share the news of Jesus to our friends, neighbours and family?  Well, it’s hard and often frustrating work.  So much so that the tendency is to give up.  

Don’t do that.  Look in the next chapter of 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

2 Corinthians 4:1Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

  1. Why do we not lose heart?
    1. We know whom we have believed
    2. We know what the truth is
    3. We know where we are going
  2. What are examples of secret and shameful ways you have seen?
    1. Cunning. Bribery. Deception. Immorality. Distorting scripture. Power play. Man pleasers. Deceit. Judgemental. Pretence. Duplicity.
  3. What do we do instead?
    1. Set forth truth plainly
    2. What truth?  See V5.
    3. What is our priority?
  4. Why is it so difficult to get through to people?  (See V4.)
    1. Who is “the god of this age”?
    2. Have you experienced this in yourself?
    3. Have you experienced this in others?
    4. What can we do about it? (Also see V1)
  5. How does V6 answer Q1?    Is there hope for unbelievers?

1437 Modified: 06-08-2023
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