I’m a bit behind in …. pretty much all my interests and hobbies, and before I get a little too real at 9:33 in the morning, I’ll leave my thesis statement at that.
But there is a point to it.
I’m trying to make my way through different relevant themes in the bible. I’m not perfectly on-time with the 2 week schedule, because of reasons (read excuses some days). I was stuck on Exodus 33 for like, three days. I honestly didn’t know how even see the relevance in it to the theme of Prayer. Like, yeah, it was a prayer, I see Moses going before God, praying for His presence and to witness God’s glory. But… How does that play in with the whole wrath after the Golden Calf incident or…. in anything?
I’m a few themes in the plan, and I’m three topics in this one. Why am I focusing on this one? Why not start with any of the others? Why not start at the beginning of the plan?
Cuz I feel this one is important and uncannily applicable to us today.
This is gonna be long.
Summary of Exodus 33
It follows the whole debacle of the Golden Calf. We all know how disastrous that was, right?
- God renews His promise to Abraham as it applies to the Israelites. The country would be theirs.
- He provides, and fulfills the promise, but He says that he will not go with them into the promised land. They’re too stiff-necked and stubborn.
- They are told to remove their ornaments as a response to the command given to them, via Moses. They do it as a show of penitence and fear of the possibility that God will not be with them
- God meets with Moses. The Israelites see and recognize God’s presence and see that Moses is in His presence- the pillar of cloud that goes to the tent of meeting outside of camp where Moses is.
- They worship God where they were in camp
- God speaks with Moses as a friend
- Moses requests God’s teachings and Presence to be close to him and the Israelites
- God grants his request for His presence -gives Moses authority over the Israelites, to lead them. If His presence is with them, it would distinguish them from other people and other nations
- Moses requests to see ?God’s glory. God promises to pass over him, shielding him but He will proclaim His name before Moses. Moses will see God’s back
- God will show mercy and compassion to whom He will
The Israelites were called to repentance. And they began to do so. They were not hesitant either. They knew the importance of having God among them. They were unique. They were provided for. They were protected., They were distinguished among other nations. Or they would be if God continued with them.
Why did they have to take off their ornaments? To show their love and loyalty to God. They were still provided for, and protected. Going on without God in their camp would have meant they loved God because He blessed them. They would have shown that they valued the blessings more than they valued Him.The fact that they paid attention to and listened to and obeyed the warning and took the chance to repent says alot.
Moses had already decided to go before God to ask for His forgiveness on behalf of His people. He, as the elder and leader of the Israelites went before God and prayed for them. He went before God, actively seeking Him out in the midst of the crisis facing them. He found what he looked for, and it was obvious to others around him. And they worshiped, with what I imagine to be some of the sincerest hearts, like…. ever. They desired God’s presence as well.
Moses actively searched for God’s presence to not only be with His people, but also with Moses, himself. He would be in God’s presence. He would be in fellowship with God, and be that much closer to Him. He would know, and the Israelites would know that their leader was appointed by God, himself, to lead them. It wasn’t simply for validation though. Moses refused to move them, until he was sure God would go with them. If he continued, he would prove that there was no love for God among the people. He did all this out of love and loyalty toward God. Staying would be an active move toward reconciliation with God.
He also seeks out God’s glory, asking God to show it to Him. He wanted more of God, rather than more from God. He wanted to witness the manifested glory of God.
He prayed for a revival. He wanted more than the blessings and the presence of God. He wanted more of God.
I think that fervor would have inspired more people to do the same. It inspired worship from the people. Joshua didn’t leave the tent where God’s presence was after Moses had left.
So what’s the importance here?
Why is this Applicable?
How many of us, who are heirs and Children of Abraham through Christ are turned from God? How many of us need to truly hear the rebuke and warning, and truly repent? How many of us are seeking to be in God’s presence? How many of us are seeking to witness God’s glory? How many of us are praying for reconciliation between ourselves and God, and between our people and God? How many of us are inspiring the same desires in those around us?
I’m looking at a mirror here. This is way too real for me too.