Presence of God, Exodus 33-35. God loved Moses so much that he is the only one of whom it was said, Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.
7 Now Moses used to take the
tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called
it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out
to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. 8 Whenever Moses
went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand
at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. 9
When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand
at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10
And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance
of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent
door. 11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man
speaks to his friend.
12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
17 And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
Exodus 33:7-17, English Standard Version
Exodus 33-35 is one of the most precious in the Bible; remember that today, all true believers are the Israel of God. As such, the promises made to the Israelites are also made for all believers from the moment time began until Christ returns to gather His people. That does not discredit the promises God made specifically to the nation of Israel. Those promises will come to pass exactly as God has said they would.
The amazing thing to realize from these chapter is that we live in the very presence of God. Just as He was a friend of Moses, so is He our Friend as well. How amazing is that?
In the few months since the Children of Israel had left Egypt, look at all of the things that transpired. Though God had performed miracle after miracle, the Israelites continued to sin against Him. The last sin was perhaps the most heinous of all; Moses was gone on the mount of God for so long that the Israelites made a golden calf and began to worship it as their god.
Is it any wonder that Moses had the following interchange with God?
12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. . . . . 14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here."
That should be our attitude, as Christians, every morning when we arise from our beds! And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. " We are not yet in our promised land; we are still wandering about in the wilderness. How we need the presence of God every moment of every day!
God loved Moses so much that he is the only one of whom it was said, Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. That is a privilege we, too, will receive when we go to be with Christ forever!
Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face--what will it be?
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me!
Face to face--O blissful moment!
Face to face--to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so!
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face, in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!
(Words by Carrie E. Breck, 1855-1934)
Go then and live in the very presence of God, loving and serving Him faithfully all of the day of your life. He is the Friend above all friends who will never leave or forsake you!
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English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.