Go With Us!
Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.
I am taking a large group of teenagers from Texas to Austria in the coming months. I am already working hard in planning and preparation. I have promised to go with them, to be ready to handle the details of our travel as well as the unforeseen encounters. And I’ve promised to bring them home safely. It is a sobering task.
Exodus 33 tells the story of God’s faithfulness and Moses’ desperation in the Israelites’ trek to the Promised Land. He tells Moses that though He will be faithful to give the land He promised to the Israelites, he will not go with them there because of their stubbornness and sin.
I can just hear Moses’ wonder at the gift of an abundant land, then the gravity of moving forward without God’s Presence. It’s one thing (a poor thing!) to move forward yourself without God going before you. It is quite another thing to LEAD a population without His Presence.
Moses’ approach to God in the Tent of Meeting is bold and filled with humility and anguish. While it hints at intimacy with God, it also screams of his awareness of God’s holiness and power and authority.
Twice in this chapter, Moses asks God to go with them. His entreaty is beautiful and full of distress: “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here…What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
Our patient Father not only gave what Moses asked, but what he needed. He gave a promise of His Presence (v. 14, 17), and rest (v. 14), His favor (v. 17) and His personal knowledge of Moses (v. 17).
May your Presence be my most distinguishing mark on earth. May the mystery of Christ in me show the world Your character. May I know the benefits of intimacy with You: rest, favor, relationship!