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GOD'S WORD® Translation Then Moses said to him, "If your presence is not going [with us], don't make us leave this place. We can learn a great deal about prayer from the prayer of Moses in this chapter. Moses was in the Presence of the Glory of God . Their hopes of God’s presence abiding forever in their midst were momentarily dashed. Moses began by asking God not to lead the nation up from Sinai if His presence did not accompany them (v. 15).100 Moses then argues the necessity of God’s presence with Israel. 4-6). “For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways. When he went on to say, “Do not lead us up from here,” the “us” here is plural, thus verifying the “with us” supplied earlier. God was truly present in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Consider the following texts: Make me know Thy ways, O LORD; Teach me Thy paths. 23:1). More important than the blessings, more important than the promises, more important than the holy commandments and the righteous edicts was the presence of God. As one of them said to Jesus, not knowing it was He, “But we were hoping that it was he who was going to redeem Israel. 4. Moses has not yet asked for anything specific. Is it not by Thy going with us, so that we, I and Thy people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”, And the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name.”, Then Moses said, “I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!”, And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. God called him to Mount Horeb to receive the Ten Commandments. John 14:25-31; 16:7ff.). But first he will lay a more substantial foundation for his request. no water. He has already had a taste of this in the war with the Amalekites in chapter 17, a war only won be prevailing prayer. 14:36). From birth, Moses was divinely set apart to lead God’s people back into right relationship with God. If we stayed longer on the mountain, perhaps And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Even then, Moses would only get a glance. Moses’ glowing face confirmed to the people that he was God’s chosen mediator (go-between) and leader. For those who do not trust in Him, there awaits the dreaded certainty of an eternity spent banished from the bliss of His presence: “And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thes. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us” (Matt. I can tell you that the mere thought of such a thing makes me break out in a cold sweat. Our understanding of Moses’ petition here will be enhanced by making several observations concerning the text. We can fall prostrate before the Lord and cry out for Of the second, he writes, “‘Favor’ is derived from a verb that indicates the showing of unmerited kindness; the word thus indicates condescending, free, and gracious kindness, goodness not based on obligation.” Ibid. Is there a single divine strategy that unites all these facets of his life-giving action as means to one end? Bob is a pastor/teacher and elder at Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas, and has contributed many of his Bible study series for use by the Foundation. Gen.19:29. God assured Moses that He would be personally present with him as he led the Israelites to Canaan. Moses argues from the known to the unknown, from, “Bring this people up …” to “Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me.” From what God has said to a request, based on what God has said. Therefore, he asked to personally experience God’s presence. 63:9). Now it came about after many days, when the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their enemies on every side, and Joshua was old, advanced in years (Josh. The depths of the despair of the disciples can only be conjectured. Now he wants to see the fullness of God’s beauty and greatness. . He has not, however, told Moses whom He is sending with him. . What is the central, focal element in his many-sided ministry? 102 J. I. Packer, Keep in Step With the Spirit (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1984), p. 47. 1:9). Heb.7:24-25. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? (33:7-11) The next little section, verses 7-11, tell us the story of Moses going outside the camp to a little tent called “the tent of meeting” (v. 7) to talk with God. Exodus 33:12-23 God’s Presence Things were going well for Moses as he led the people out of Egypt. The LORD performs righteous deeds, And judgments for all who are oppressed. All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies (Ps. Moses had already seen glimpses of God’s glory at the burning bush, and when he entered God’s presence on the mountaintop. Sinai almost ended in total destruction of the nation, due to their worship of the golden calf. Bob was born and raised in a Christian home i... More. “And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them; therefore turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan” (Josh. Father in heaven. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? Obviously God said things to Moses which he did not record for all to read. God promised Moses his presence. In Moses’ petition in verses 15 and 16, he sought for this assurance for the nation. For, behold, those who are far from Thee will perish; Thou hast destroyed all those who are unfaithful to Thee. The problem is this: HOW CAN A HOLY GOD BE PRESENT WITH A SINFUL PEOPLE, AND NOT DESTROY THEM? Sin. These two statements are not recorded before this. Those involved in Korah’s rebellion died when the earth swallowed them alive (Num. No matter what the pressure or the embarrassment – he was happy to wait for God. Moses knew it was God's presence in Israel that set the people apart from all other nations. Notice how Moses twice links himself with Israel. When Moses went out, the people stood in respect and then worshipped at the doorway of their tent. Abraham The first request was more personal, the second, more public or collective in nature. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou has anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. God commands Moses to sanctify the people in preparation for His presence, [Exodus:19:10-11 2. made a golden idol in the shape of a calf. God’s presence, he petitions, must not only be with him, but with them also. While God grants Moses’ request, it is only due to his standing in favor with Him, not due to any good on the part of Israel. Not only was Moses Neh.1:1-10. Third, there is the application of this text to the subject of prayer. And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. Furthermore, He promised Moses that the end, the Israelites living safely in Canaan, would be realized. The section then ends with God’s response. days and 40 nights. The sins of the people were not taken away, but they were put off, until the time when sin could once and for all be remedied and removed in Christ (cf. Imagine, for a moment, the possibility of having all of your prayers recorded, and then published for all to read. And no wonder Moses would like to know just who it is who is going with him, as God has promised: “… But Thou Thyself hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me” (Exod. with him - that's when he speaks to us, gives us guidance and Going down the mountain, Moses broke the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written, signifying that Israel had broken her covenant with God. Even though we sin, even though we disobey, even though we And many nations will come and say, “Come and let us go up to the fountain of the Lord And to the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For from Zion will go forth the Law, Even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Micah 4:2; cf. But Moses went straight It is only in Christ that the presence of God in the midst of men is provided. This is indicated by the term “rest” as it is used here and elsewhere in the Old Testament: “When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, then it shall come about that the place in which the LORD your God shall choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the LORD” (Deut. He lay prostrate before the Lord. But when Moses came down from the mountain, he saw the people's sin - they had 3:25). Thus, there was a lingering disappointment and bewilderment among the disciples, as can be seen by Peter’s decision to “go fishing” (John 21:3ff.). 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