Time With God
Gracious God, I’m grateful for this time to be with You and to listen to You speak in Your Word.
Read EXODUS 33:7-23
 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp.  And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.  As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses.  Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent.  The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.  Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’  If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”  The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.  How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”  And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”  Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”  And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”  Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.  When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.  Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat incredible privileges did Moses enjoy?
From mountain-top experience to catastrophic outrage—no wonder Moses wants to know where he is with God. A tangible sign of meeting with God provides opportunities for unimaginable conversation. Others, drawn by what they see, long again for their God (10). Could our unmistakable desire for God also touch others?
So, will Moses and his people stay sitting in the desert? After all, God has told them that he will not travel with them (see v. 3). Moses, aware of God’s holiness and committed to obedience, questions his Lord and pleads his case. “Who’s going to help me?” (see v. 12). Perhaps Moses is already wondering about the young Joshua (11). God replies “I am” (see v. 14). Moses reminds God that the Israelites are his people (13). His presence is what makes them different (16). Still, Moses doesn’t give up asking for reassurance of God’s commitment to him. His bold request (18) is not granted exactly, but there’s no doubt that Moses has a very close encounter with God. We, too, often miss seeing God in the moment, but recognize his presence as we look back (23).
Share boldly with God your request of him. Recall how you’ve recognized his presence with you in the past.
Lord, I want to know You better and have a close relationship with You. Work in me to that end.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.