Both the sane and insane have claimed to see God. Skeptics and radicals, geniuses and lunatics, prophets and heretics -- there is a person in each category who has supposedly been transformed by seeing the most mysterious, illusive and illustrious being in the universe, God.
So is it true? Have all these individuals really seen God? Who has, who hasn’t? Who’s right, who’s wrong?
Some psychologists claim that if a person says they have seen God, Jesus, angels, or demons that they are crazy. Is this true? Could all these people be wrong? Is a vision of God something the imaginations of lunatics conjured up?
There are endless discussions we could have about this topic, all of which I would like to engage with eventually. But for now, let’s discuss Moses, the second prophetic figure to be addressed in our series about “seeing the infinite God in everything.” Let’s also discuss the radicals and the crazies.
Moses, the prophet who led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt, has a very interesting encounter with God in Exodus 33:18-23.
In this passage we are told that if anyone sees God's face, they will die. But Moses is allowed to see God’s backside. What precisely is going on here? Well, in the ancient world it was understood that if you saw the “glory” of God, which is His “face,” you yourself could face death.
To really understand Moses we have to back up the horse a bit to Exodus 3, the story of the burning bush. After Moses’ first encounter with God in Exodus 3 he became a radical, but a good kind of radical. He turned the social structures of an entire country on its head. At first, Pharaoh probably thought Moses was a lunatic – “Who is this crazy who thinks he can oppose the gods of Egypt, and their representative god (who by the way is Pharaoh)?” Moses was a heretic in Pharaoh’s eyes, but a prophet in the eyes of the God of the Hebrews – Yahweh.
Many have said, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” I say: One religion’s heretic is another religion’s prophet. One king’s enemy is another king’s hero. One psychologist’s crazy is another psychologist’s norm.
Well, what do you think?