God’s presence among those who are faithful
One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people. The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” Exodus 33:12-16
Unwillingness to obey God stifles the opportunity to experience His presence and His working. This was clearly demonstrated in the life of the Israelites when they were on the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. There were several instances that the presence of God was forfeited because they turned to idols. “But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people” (Exodus 33:3). They made themselves a golden calf for they wanted an idol that represents their longing for the presence of God. Aaron told Moses that because of the people’s evil hearts, they told him to fashion a golden calf out of their gold jewelries. “Make us gods who will lead us” (Exodus 32:23). Unless they turn back to God and rededicate committing to obey Him, they will miss out on experiencing His presence. God will not tolerate compromises and will not have any part in their religious rituals. God wanted the people led by Moses to move forward so they could reach Canaan and experience rest. This promise of rest was very significant for these people who have been traveling most of their lives. From the text, God promised Moses that His presence will always lead them. Just like Moses, everyone who claims to be the child of God would want to experience His working in and through their lives. For though His working though the lives of His peoples those others around them realize that they belong to God. “For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The Lord does reveal Himself and there is always something we can know about Him as long as we continue to show our obedience to His command. This is what Moses prayed for; “let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor.” Faith will be strengthened when we always seek out His presence in our lives.
Noel De Guzman