Oct. 15, 2020

Michael Medved on Exodus 33:18-23 – “God Passing By”

Mark is delighted to welcome Michael Medved, a legend in the world of American thought and political discourse, to the podcast today. Starting his public life as a left-liberal political organizer, Michael has gone on to become a historian, movie critic, nationally-broadcast talk radio host, podcaster, and best-selling author. One of his books, What Really Happened to the Class of ’65?, is actually the first book Mark remembers seeing around his house as a child. The passage that Michael has chosen to discuss today is Exodus 33:18-23.

Michael begins this fascinating conversation with the story behind President Trump’s choice of his favorite Bible verse, and follows with his summary of today’s selected verse and its meaning for him. He and Mark then engage in an extensive analysis of the notion of ‘God passing by’ highlighted by this verse, including a number of examples where God is involved not only in the history of America and Israel, but also in our daily lives. They also discuss the value of seeing the world with ‘radical and perpetual amazement’ before Michael shares the lessons he has learned about humankind, his perspective on what is wrong in America right now, and the importance of acknowledging gratitude. As Mark notes, the Torah’s ‘truths keep coming’, and today they are highlighted through Michael’s gift for effortlessly bringing history to life, rendering this episode yet another clear demonstration of the wisdom of this seminal text and its profound impact upon both historical and present day issues.

Episode Highlights:

  • · President Trump’s favorite Bible verse
  • · Michael’s summary of the verse and why it’s meaningful for him
  • · How this verse relates to Israel’s recent peace agreements
  • · God passing by
  • · Good advice for statesmen
  • · Stories of God’s involvement in the history of America
  • · Opening up to the certainty that God is here
  • · The story of Michael meeting his wife
  • · ‘Radical and perpetual amazement’
  • · The lessons Michael has learned about humankind
  • · Michael’s perspective on what is so wrong in America right now
  • · Acknowledging gratitude


“I think it’s extremely meaningful and relevant for anybody who writes history or cares about history or current events, or trying to discern what God is trying to do in the world.”

“I think that there are lots of us who, at different times of life, want to see God’s face.”

“You will know My presence after I am done with that act. During it, you’re not going to see it.

“It is the job of the statesman to listen for God’s footsteps in history, and when he hears them to grab His coattails and hang on.”

“We don’t really think about God in Heaven.”

“We’re an imperfect nation and we’re an instrument to God because He needs an instrument, and what’s He going to do, choose Belgium?”

“The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

“Washington was actually the indispensable man.”

“And today, with a country of 330 million instead of 2.8 million, the best we can do is Trump and Biden?”

“He had just conquered fear, because his response after this attempt on his life was so remarkable.”

“America is not an accident.”

“I got engaged in 9 weeks – absolutely, you just know.”

“For people who doubt that God is involved in the history of America and the history of Israel, it seems to me that many of those people probably do see God’s hand, at least, in their own marriages.”

“These are all American daily miracles.”

“Nobody achieves anything alone.”

“A great deal depends upon maintaining the right and the positive attitude…especially when trials come, and they come to all of us.”

“You should acknowledge the existence of gratitude before you acknowledge the existence of yourself.”

Exodus 33:18-23 - https://www.sefaria.org/Exodus.33.18-23?lang=en&with=all&lang2=en


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