God didn’t show his face to Moses because he knew humanity would be tempted to make visual representations of His face. He spoke and gave written words instead. The fact that God revealed himself through speaking and writing should give us a pause. We live in a time of audio visuals. We are tempted to think that the effectivity of the gospel lies in slick PowerPoint presentations and cutting edge video clips. The Bible tells us otherwise. God came to us through the spoken and written Word. No matter how technologically advanced we are, the medium by which God reveals himself to us is still through Bible reading and listening to sermons.
Many would say this is boring and primitive but this is actually where the second commandment makes more sense. God— the concept of God, the attributes of God, and the nature of God— can never be truly depicted with our lame visual aids. Our artistic expressions will never suffice. This is the reason why our concept of God has to rise higher than mere pictures and arts and videos. To know him, we need to go to the Word, and this Word-based intimation of God requires the highest order of thinking. This means that the posture of knowing God is that of hard work and concentrated effort, not laid back and slouchy.