The Presence of God

If God Doesn’t Come With Us, I Don’t Want to Go

Today’s Passage – Exodus 33 – 35 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 17 – 18Proverbs 31Psalms 1 – 5 (Jump start on February because it is a short month)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 John 3:1

Read the “0131 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous post from today’s reading passage – “Willing Servants,” and “Beaming.”

“Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Exodus 33:13-16)

In chapter thirty-two, the people of Israel had sinned greatly against God by my making and worshipping a golden calf. This happened while Moses was away from them, up on the mountain getting instructions from the Lord. Not only were they worshipping an idol which they had made themselves, but they also were naked and dancing (Exodus 32:19; 25). God was very angry. Three thousand people died as a result of this rebellion against God (Exodus 32:28).

In chapter thirty-three, God tells Moses that His presence would not go with this “stiff-necked” nation as they continued to travel to the Promised Land (Exodus 33:3). The people repented and they mourned for what they had done. They took off their “ornaments,” which were items of jewelry that they had brought with them from Egypt. These ornaments reminded God of the worldly place that they had been delivered from. Remember, in the last chapter the people used some of these ornaments (“earrings” – Exodus 32:3) to make the golden calf. God wanted His people to be separated from what they were delivered from. By the way, the people would later take these ornaments and give them to the Lord to be used in His Tabernacle (see Exodus 35:22).

Moses then intercedes for the people and tells God that the people needed God’s presence with them as they journeyed through the wilderness or they would not succeed. He reminds the Lord that Israel was God’s nation and the thing that would distinguish them from all of the other nations was the very presence of God. Thankfully, God agrees to go with Moses and the congregation as they journeyed toward Canaan.

The thing that sets apart God’s people today from the masses who do not know the Lord is also God’s presence. One of Jesus’ names is “Emanuel,” which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Jesus told the disciples that Holy Ghost of God would not only be with them, but He would also actually be IN them. How cool is that. God lives in us and also goes with us.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17)

Jesus said that He would be with us “alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). He says He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), even when we sometimes leave him by doing our own thing instead of yielding to His will, or by loving this world instead of looking unto Jesus. I’m glad He goes with us, because, like Moses, I don’t want to go if I have to go alone.

Another thought – I don’t want to have church if God isn’t there. Sometimes church services can be so dry and dead, it seems like God isn’t anywhere near the church house. But, there have also been many sweet times when the presence of God could actually be felt in a big way. Results could be seen through people being saved, and through the unrestricted singing and uninhibited rejoicing of God’s people. The Word of God was preached with power and the conviction of God was evident as people wept at the altar. Such sweet services. Let’s be careful not to hinder the working of the Spirit of God as he moves in our church services. Pray for God’s Presence. Yield to God’s Presence. Rejoice in God’s Presence.

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