Summary: We have been created with a need for companionship and guidance. The fulfillment of that need is in His presence.

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His Presence

Exodus 33:1-23

We have been created with a need of companionship and guidance. We find very early on in the Bible, in Genesis when God creates, He creates man and gives him all that he needs. But there is something missing in Adams life and God says that it is not good for man to be alone.

We see this in the children of Israel in chapter 32, they are so afraid. They think that Moses is lost or that something has happened to him because he had been gone for a very long time. We know that Moses is on top of Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments from God. But the children of Israel are a little disturbed. Their confidence level has waned in the time that he has been gone so they begin to create for themselves an idol, something that would demonstrate a God or a deity in their presence because they have seen those things happen in Egypt. They are not that far removed from Egypt yet. God is very displeased with their actions and what they are doing. In fact, God is so displeased in what is going on that He says ‘I’m not going to go with you to the Promised Land because I might do something bad to you’. Looking at Exodus 33 and reading the language in the very beginning, you can see that God is very disturbed with the children of Israel, “I’m not going with you, but I will fulfill my promise” God says. “I’m going to go with you but My presence is not going to be there.” Moses needed assurance. He needed to be sure that God would be there with them.

Moses goes into this tent of meeting, which is the little ‘t’ because it is different than the one in the tabernacle. This is the place that Moses goes to outside the camp to talk to God and he really needs to have a talk with God. Moses confronts God. In this confrontation we learn what Moses knows and how important the presence of God is in his life and how that can help us in our daily living.

The first thing we observe is that Moses understands God’s presence brings salvation. God saves us. Moses says, “we can’t do this without You”. Moses knows that God is the very being, the very person that has brought them to where they are right now. The song Moses sings reveals this truth (Exodus 15:2). This is how it goes “The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him”. Moses knew that God was their salvation. He goes to God in the tent and he begs God to go with them because he knows that, without God, they’re lost. They are literally lost. From the profit Isaiah, he begins to sing another song to them about this servant who is going to come and bring them their salvation. “In his distress, meaning God’s distress, the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and in his mercy, he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9). This prophet knew that God was salvation, just like Moses. We know that our salvation is, of course, from God because it was God who sent His Son to die on the cross for us. Jesus is our salvation. Without His presence in our lives there would be no salvation.

Remember when Joseph was having a difficult time with Mary and her situation, the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and begins to explain what is going on. The angel says to Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins”. You see the name Jesus means salvation. Peter says this in Acts 4:12. “ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”. So Jesus is our salvation. When God is present in our lives, when Jesus comes into our lives, we are saved! Of course there is a process to bring Jesus into your life. Jesus tells us that it takes faith, whoever believes is not condemned Mark 16:16), and so we come to Jesus by faith. In that faith, we give our heart to him. Jesus says, “Unless you repent you too will perish,” (Luke 13:3) so we repent. We turn to Him with all of our hearts. We also confess that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9). He is the ruler. He is the one who can direct me and guide me. Not only that, we give our lives totally as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) when we are buried with him in baptism (Romans 6:1-4). Jesus brings salvation into our lives when we respond to him by faith, repentance, confession, and being baptized into Christ. There’s no other name in which we can be saved except by the name of Jesus.

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