The Veil on Moses’ Face
Arnold Mattice is an Accountant retired from General Motors, Oshawa, Ontario. This is the seventh devotional article based upon the great experience in the life of Moses. Profit will be derived from a prayerful perusal of this and all the former articles.
The Veiled Gospel
This is the final application which Paul makes of the veil on Moses’ face. In this section of 2 Corinthians, chapters three and four, he states, “But and if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that are perishing” (2 Corinthians 4:3 R.V.).
Paul explains in verse four how this glorious message of the gospel is veiled. “In whom the god of this world has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving, so that the radiancy of the glad tidings of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine forth for them” (Darby). This is the great work of the devil, the god of this world today. He has so blinded the minds of the unsaved that even the bright shining forth of the radiancy of the wonderful message of the gospel of Christ cannot penetrate their darkened minds. Only when men and women are ready to really listen, hear and believe this glad tidings, can the Holy Spirit shine the glorious light of the gospel into their thoughts and hearts.
How thankful we should be that God was ever able to “shine” or “beam forth” (Young’s) the glorious message of the gospel into our darkened hearts!
Paul speaks of this ministry or message in the most glowing terms in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “Because it is the God who spoke that out of darkness light should shine who has shone in our hearts for the shining forth (or, radiancy — same word as verse 4) of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (Darby). What a ministry! What a message! Paul calls this ministry “the radiancy of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” It is a message that illuminates as the bright shining beams of the search-light through the darkness. The gospel is such a radiancy in the midst of this dark world of sin. It is as the bright beams of light in the darkness and blackness of this poor old world.
We who have heard and read it so many times are too liable to become accustomed and familiar with this message of glory. Our senses too often become dull to the amazing message of God’s love. We can read the stories of some human love and sacrifice and the tears flow, but we listen to this most wonderful of all true love stories with dry eyes. Oh! beloved saints of God, let us all get a fresh vision of that message, and may our hearts be moved and touched, so that we will go forth to tell friends, neighbours, work-mates and all that we come in contact with of this wonderful story of love. Surely we can say from our heart of hearts with the poet:
“It can never grow old,
It can never grow old,
Tho’ a million times over the story is told;
While sin lives unvanquished, and death rules the world,
The story of Jesus can never grow old.”
Let us pause for a moment to consider this message. God in marvellous grace and kindness sent His Own Son into this world to die for sinners in order that He might bring us to Himself. Think, beloved, of the price paid — Jesus Christ, God manifest in flesh. What a mystery is this (1 Tim. 3:16)! We see One great and mighty, One holy and pure, dying for those who were absolutely filthy and sinful. We read, “He hath made Him … sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). If we cannot understand such words, “He hath made Him sin for us,” surely it is because there are depths to Calvary and to the sufferings of Christ for our sins that our infinite minds can never fathom. As there are unsearchable depths in the incarnation and manhood of our blessed Lord that our human minds cannot grasp, so are there unsearchable depths to the cross of Christ that we will never understand down here.
Blessed be God, He has said, “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). “He spared (or withheld) not His Own Son but delivered Him up (gave Him over) for us all” (Rom. 8:32). Again, Peter says, “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Oh! the depths and unfathomable mystery of the cross and that atoning work of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Thank God, for such a completed work and an exalted Saviour at God’s right hand from whose very face radiates the knowledge of God! May we never grow tired of telling such a story to others or of listening to its joyful sound.
While Satan is the great blinder of the mind and thoughts of the unsaved so that the gospel is veiled from them, yet there is the great possibility that we may veil that glorious gospel by our inconsistent lives. Paul states, “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:1-2). Paul recognized the solemn possibility of our veiling the gospel message. Therefore, in contrast to the false teachers he declares he had turned from the hidden things of dishonesty or shame; that is, the things one is ashamed of and keeps concealed. Further, he states that he did not walk in deceit and that he did not handle the Word of God deceitfully, or corrupt it by mingling the truths of the Word of God with false doctrine. This the false teachers were doing, mixing works of law with grace and thus falsifying the Word of God. Paul states that by manifestation of the truth in his life, he commended himself to every man’s conscience and this before God.
How very important that we endeavour to conduct ourselves as Paul conducted himself! What a dreadful thing for us to veil the gospel of God’s love from our friends, our neighbours, and those with whom we make contact, by lives that deny the gospel message! How sad it will be to stand before the Lord and be shamed that we have veiled the gospel by our inconsistency!