by Charles H. Spurgeon

The Shining of the Face of Moses
Charles H. Spurgeon
Exodus 34:29-35

A fast of forty days does not improve the appearance of a man's countenance: he looks starved, wrinkled, old, haggard. Moses had fasted forty days twice at the least; and according to many competent authorities the tenth chapter of Deuteronomy seems to imply that he fasted forty days three times in quick succession. I will not assert or deny the third forty days; but it is certain that, with a very slight interval, Moses fasted forty days and then forty days more; and it is probable that to these must be added a third forty. Small attractiveness would naturally remain in a face which had endured so stern an ordeal; but the Lord whom he served made his face brilliant with an unusual luster. The glory of the light of God upon his countenance may have been the reason why he remained so hale in his later years of old age. This man of eighty spent forty years more in guiding Israel, and in the end his eye had not dimmed, nor his natural force abated. He that could fast forty days would be a hard morsel for death. Those eyes which had looked upon the glory of God were not likely to wax dim amid earthly scenes; and that natural force which had endured the vision of the supernatural could well support the fatigues of the wilderness. God so sustained his servant that his long and repeated fasting, during which he did not even drink water, did no harm to his physical constitution. The abstinence even from water renders the fast the more remarkable and lifts it out of similarity to modern feats of fasting.

Moses did not know at the time that his face was shining; but he did know it afterward, and he has here recorded it. He gives in detail the fact of the brightness of his own face, and how others were struck with it, and what he had to do in order to associate with them. We are sure that this record was not made by reason of vanity, for Moses writes about himself in great lowliness of spirit. It was ...

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