Summary: C.S Lewis, in his book “Miracles” writes, “The presence of God is the most real thing we ever encounter.” Moses prayed, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here”.Exodus 33:15
Open your Bible to the book of Exodus 33:13-20, and I would like for you to follow with me as I read from chapter 33 verses 13 to 15, “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”.
Moses was a great leader. To lead a large number of people in the desert is not an easy task. If they wandered in the desert for 40 years, Moses did receive a training of 80 years before he was selected for this great job. God appeared to Moses in a dry bush as we read in Ex. 3:2, and told him to go to king Pharoah. Moses said, "I am not eloquent" (Ex. 4:10). As a prince in Egypt, Moses was proud of his wisdom and knowledge, but when he ran away from Egypt and was in the wilderness for forty years, he could see for himself how weak, empty and foolish he was.
Once there was a wealthy man who was fond of reading. He prepared a long list of books and bought them, thinking that if he read those books he would become a scholar. One by one he read them all very carefully. After many years of reading his friends asked him, "What have you learned by reading these books?" He said, "I have learned that I know nothing." After reading those books he discovered how foolish and empty he was. That is our condition. When we are empty and foolish, we make much noise. An empty tin makes much noise. Moses was proud in Pharaoh's palace, but now he is humble. With all his wisdom he thought he was able only to look after the sheep. Even though he was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt and was mighty in word and deed, still he was looking after sheep. He had become totally dry and empty. God had allowed that. When Moses became empty God appeared to him in a bush. God poured new life into Him and called him for a great ministry. According to Exodus 4:12, he became God's mouthpiece.
As Moses and the children of Israel are wandering in the wilderness, An interesting transaction takes place between Moses and the Lord in Exodus 33, that illustrates just how important the Presence of god was to Moses, and how much he hungered for it. Moses had a more intimate relationship with the LORD than any of us could ever really imagine. He met with Him face-to-face. He spent 40 days with Him on top of Mt. Sinai. The LORD called Moses "friend!" But Moses was not ready to settle for anything lesser than God himself and so there is one thing of which Moses is absolutely convinced. "If Your Presence does not go with us, we don't want to go."
Because the Lord was pleased with Moses He granted His request. And then Moses said, "Now show me your glory" (Exodus 33:18). This phrase, show me your glory, is an expression of a deep hunger and longing not only for the Presence of God but for a deeper revelation of God, one that God was happy to oblige to. So the Lord said that he would cause all of his goodness to pass by Moses, Exo 33:20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Obviously, when the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, His glory was veiled to an extent that Moses was permitted to live. Jesus made a wonderful promise in the Sermon on the Mount that should give us encouragement to create an appetite for God: Mat 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Each day we face different challenges. We face situations where we need to make choices in life, then and there. How often do you seek the presence of God? Do you settle for anything lesser than God’s presence? God’s presence in your life can do wonders. In fact that is the only thing that makes you different from others. It shows to others that God is pleased with you. God was ready to give the Israelites His protection, His provisions and also His promises, but He was not ready to offer His presence with them as a result of their rebellion. Do not settle for God’s protection, provision and promises without His presence. When you have God’s presence with you, you need nothing more, and you should not settle for anything lesser. C.S Lewis, in his book “Miracles” writes, “The presence of God is the most real thing we ever encounter.”