Moses said, You ask me to bring this people up (from captivity). Pray, go with me, otherwise not.
And God said He would go with them. Then Moses beseeched the Lord, Show me your glory!
Whereupon God replied, I will make my goodness pass before you; but you cannot see my face, for there shall no man see me and live. But I will place you in the cleft of a rock and shield your eyes as I pass before you. And when I have passed, I will remove my hand and allow you to see my back.
I think this is a terribly important passage, yet I have never heard a preacher expound on it beyond the emphasizing that man cannot look on the face of God. But what does this mean? I believe this speaks clearly to a real issue, and since I have found no one teaching on this vital point, I shall do it myself.
Moses has been credited with the writing of the Pentateuch. Some have questioned this, saying he could not possibly have known the content of the past to the extent written. Of course he could have known, for God showed Moses his back parts.
God was telling Moses that he could not look into the future-- that knowledge is reserved to God alone, but he would be allowed to see the past! (God's back). Thus it was that God imparted the knowledge of the world's history to Moses, who then gave us an account of the beginnings, that is "Genesis."