March 8, 2019
Good Morning Fellow Travelers,
Read: Exodus 33
Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” (Exo 33:15)
Moses led the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan. They made preparations at the instruction of Moses and fled Egypt on cue. Trapped at the Red Sea they cowered in fear as the King of Egypt and his army pursued them. They cried out to Moses who responded, “Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord”.
After God parted the Red Sea, a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of cloud by night went before Moses and the Israelites. When the pillar stopped, the Israelites set up camp. When it lifted and moved, the Israelites pulled up stakes.
In today’s bible reading we see Moses and God talking together in the cloudy pillar at the tabernacle door. God tells Moses that He will not be going with them because the Israelites are stubborn and disobedient but instead would send His angel before the Israelites. God explained that if He does go with them He may destroy them if they continue to rebel against Him.
Moses was concerned about this plan and asked God again, “Who will be going with us? You say you know me by name and I have found grace in Your sight but how will I know this? Please show me Your Way and let this great nation be Your people.”
God then responds to Moses and says, “My Presence shall go with you and I will give you rest.” Because of Moses’ deep desire for God’s Presence God honored his request and promised to go with him and the Israelites as they traveled. Moses also went so far as to say, “If Your Presence does not go with me, do not bring me up from here.”
What lessons do we learn from the interchange between Moses and God? What’s the takeaway for us today?
First, if we are going to be stubborn and disobedient God will not go with us. If He does go with us on our journey and we disobey Him, He may destroy us in the way.
Second, God hears the heart cry of a person who is sincere. If we pursue God in humility and fear as Moses did, we can expect God to turn again and hear us. Not only will His Presence be with those of us who desire Him, love Him and obey Him but also He will give us rest.
And last but not least, We see Moses’ total dependence upon God in saying, If Your Presence does not go with me, do not bring me up from here. We need to place our total confidence and trust in God with a commitment to not take one step without Him.