Oh! To Know Him! Part 2

Moses and the LORD

I hope you will go back and read all of Chapter 33 so that you will have a little better grasp on the context of this conversation between Moses and God. I want that kind of relationship with God. Today, we will talk about true rest and His presence.

Exodus 33:14-16

Then the LORD replied, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”

Then Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?

I Don’t Want to Go without You!

I find Moses’ response to what God says a little humorous. It reminds of a child asking his parent for permission to do something and not even realizing that their parent has given them permission. He expects them to say “no” so he has his whole speech planned out and is in process of delivering it when he realizes that he actually has permission to do the thing he wants so badly to do.

And after this little tirade, it seems that Moses could have said, ‘Oh! You will go! Okay! Whew!!’ Of course Moses did not say that.

God’s Presence is Essential

On a much more serious note, the meat of these verses is clearly indicating that God’s presence was absolutely essential for them to go up. Moses is saying that they should not even go at all if God is not going with them.

If we, as Christ followers, would approach our lives with this mindset in action, it would change us; it would change our society; it would change the history that is now being made.

Let’s go to Verse 14:

The LORD replied, “My presence will go with you…”

How beautiful that sounds! The beauty of being a Christian today is that since Christ ascended into heaven and sent us the Holy Spirit, we can have the very presence of God with us all the time. We talked about this a few posts back. As we acknowledge Him and obey His Word, we can know that the Presence of God is with us.

“…and I will give you rest.”

Ah… Rest

Um… rest? True rest comes in the presence of God. We may sleep all night or catnap or power nap. However, true rest – restoration – comes from being in the presence of God.

As I think specifically of Moses here, I think of how he needed that kind of rest, after all, he led and struggled with a huge group of stiffnecked and disobedient people. In reality, we all need that kind of rest though. Life is a struggle with difficult things, heart-wrenching things. We live in a world that constantly pulls us toward it. We fight that pull and our own flesh, or worse we do not fight it.

Let’s think about Rest for a Minute

To rest is to stop struggling, to cease striving. How can we do that? We can know that God is indeed with us and that if we will give it to Him, He will take care of it. Sounds familiar, right?

It is not just something that sounds good. “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 is in black and white in God’s Word. That is the kind of rest that God is offering us. Real rest – to cease striving.

Let’s look at Verses 15 and 16 together:

Then Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from hereHow will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?

Three Things to Spotlight 

First:

Moses states the necessity of God going with His people. As mentioned earlier, Moses did not even want to go at all if God’s presence was not going. In earlier verses before verse 12, God had said that He was not going with them because of what the Israelites had done while He was giving Moses the 10 Commandments. This totally freaked Moses out, and with good reason.

So to be a little repetitive, Moses did not want to go without God. Remember where they were and where they were headed. They were stalled out in the desert and supposed to be headed for the “Land of Milk and Honey”. God was saying for them to just go on without Him. God did not say they could not go. He was just not going with them. Moses was saying that he would rather stay right there where they were in the desert than to go on without God. Now I hope you can see the closeness of the relationship between Moses and God.

This is where Moses was: Having nothing at all but God was/is better than having everything imaginable except God. Think about it.

Second:

Moses saw that God’s presence represented God’s pleasure. He asked how people would know that God was pleased with them if He did not go. They would appear to be a God-forsaken people.

Third:

God’s presence showed who the people belonged to. In your life, today, does God’s presence mark you as His?

Oh, friend, may it be said of us, “That woman/man belongs to God. I really do not know God but I can see that she/ he knows Him.” May people see Him in our lives.

Let’s Pray:

Thank You, Lord, that You are merciful and that You give us second chances. Thank You that You do not leave us after one or even 100 failures. Lord, I thank You that You want us to walk with You and know You. I rejoice that You are continually bringing us closer to You and helping us know You better and better. Help us to truly rest in You and grow in our knowledge and trust in You so that we can have the kind of relationship that Moses had with You. Please make us completely Yours. Help us glorify You with our lives. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Go Deeper Today:

Psalm 62:5-8

 

 

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