For any who have perused my blog, you will see a rather repetitious use of the word 'unveiled'. I love it, and this scripture is why.
18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, reflecting like bright mirrors the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same likeness, from one degree of radiant holiness to another, even as derived from the Lord the Spirit.
I think it incredible, that on the mountain when the presence of God descended and rested in fire and smoke and thunder, He was desiring the intimacy of betrothing Himself to His people Israel. His desire was not only to meet with Moses face to face, but the entire nation comprising his Beloved-to-be. How terrible that in the face of this most ardent Lover, she instead, like Adam before her, is terrified and will not expose herself to such naked intimacy, likely for fear of what it will expose in her. Instead she pushes Moses to the front of the line and demands, "YOU go and meet with Him, and just tell us what He requires. We can't stand to look Him in the face!" Essentially, she exchanges the intimacy of marriage for the fellowship of stone tablets, relationship for rules and legalism. She is saying, I know You are Holy, so give me the bare essentials of how to get it right enough that You won't kill me. She cannot even conceive that this God is looking for a face-to-face covenental relationship. She requires that Moses veil HIS face, too, for even the residual glory of having met with Yahweh is too much for her to bear.
So, with what must have been heart-tearing pain, He again is denied bridal fellowship, and gives her what she demands: LAW to live by; but, with a PROMISE. That one day, this law would not stand between He and His beloved. That one day, One would come who would write this law on her heart, and she would again be able to gaze into the eyes of her One and Only, as she did in the garden, in intimate exchange without fear.
Now, that we have received the Spirit of betrothal by faith because of what our Redeemer has wrought for us, we enjoy the intimacy of face to face fellowship with our Bridegroom. It does truly come at a cost, Jesus having paid it first; and we continue to imitate Christ as we let go of ourselves that He may increase in us. We have within us divine covenant, and the more we yield, gazing into His glory and holiness, the more we are resplendant with His character. The more we allow Him to have what He has been asking of us since He made us - intimate fellowship - the more we become like Him. And we, with unveiled faces, like bright mirrors shine back to our Lover His very Self. And it is GOOD.