“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”
4 When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.” Exodus 33:1-5
The Israelites and Moses, what a story. The Israelites were led out of captivity and into the wilderness to worship The Lord God.
“Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness..” Exodus 7:16
Yet the Israelites were so focused on the promises of God rather than God Himself. In Exodus 33:3 when God told Moses to go to the land promised to them but He will not go with them, the Israelites response was mourning…but notice that it wasn’t because God has said He would not go with them, but because He had called them stiff-necked people. They were more concerned about themselves than God. They were egard about going despite if God would go with them or not. Moses on the other hand sought out the Lord, for Moses wanted to know God and be known by Him. He knew the desperate need for His presence. Moses wanted to live intimitly with God, face to face.
“Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” Exodus 33:15
Are you like the Israelites? Seeking the things of God rather than God Himself? Are you seeking the place that He has promised you, if you recieve Jesus as Lord and Savior you will inherite once dead? Are you living for Heaven rather than living for Him here and now?
So often we get caught up in the things of God, all that He promises us, all that we can get, rather than enjoying His presence. Rather than seeking Him face to face, to know Him and be known by Him, we are egardly asking and pursuing Him to get what we want. Our prayers are centered around Him helping us, rather than how we can be used by Him. Our God desperatly wants us to love Him, to worship Him, to have a restored intimate relationship with Him.
What if God promised you Heaven instead of hell but He wouldn’t be there, would you still go?
May you be reminded that God desired to deliver the Israelites so they could go into the wilderness to worship The Lord. But yet they were so intent on what they knew to be promised to them, that they forsook intimicy with Him for self-seeking desires. They loved Him when they were being blessed, and turned away from Him when not getting what they desired. Moses on the other hand loved God, obeyed Him and desperatly sought out His face-and He was a friend of God.
“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend…” Exodus 33:11
“Abba, forgive us for seeking our own ways rather than your ways. May you search our hearts through your Spirit to reveal anything which is hindering us from coming close to you. For I want to know you and be known by you. As Moses did, I seek your face. To know you face to face. All I want is you Lord, not all that you promise but just to be with you, be in your presence. You are Mighty Soverign Lord, You are All Powerful and All Glorious. All the glory be yours for ever and ever, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen!”
For we can either live with Him here or without Him. As the Israelites we can choose to care more about how we see ourselves or as Moses, how God see’s us. All He wants is for His people to love Him, to choose Him before themselves and to come into that secret place to worship Him and adore Him-so He can freely lavish His love back onto us. Take some time today to seek God, to put aside your agenda, your wants and ask Him what He wants. Ask Him, His hearts desires and rest in His presence.
Have a blessed day!