Everything we need is the found in the presence of God. Moses knew this. Chapter 33 of the book of Exodus contains some incredible comments by Moses, statements that serve us well as we seek to know God and encourage others in the 21st Century. Even though Moses already had an incredible and personal relationship with God, Moses wants more. He doesn’t want to move one step closer to the promised land with the people of Israel unless God promises to go with him, grant him more favor and a fuller revelation of His presence. Today, because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, we actually have an advantage over Moses. God knows us by name and we have his favor. Yet if we wish to be effective in ministry for Jesus in an age where confusion abounds, nothing will substitute for people who know how to host God’s presence in their very being. That is the cry of our hearts as a church. We have seen God heal people simply as they sat in a service, or surrender their lives to him the moment they stepped in the door. Those are great things but, like Moses, we want more of God and his presence.
Seek First: His Presence (Exodus 33:11-18)
Verse 11 Moses already has an incredible relationship with God.
Verse 12 Moses recognizes that he can’t lead the people by himself, on his own.
• So, he’s asking God who’s going to help me with this.
• But he isn’t just seeking God’s advice, He is seeking the presence of God. Tangible presence.
Verse 13 The verse starts with the phrase if you are pleased with me.
Let’s talk about Stewarding that favor:
• Moses goes on to ask to know God’s ways, so that he might continue to find favor with God.
o He had favor with God, which allowed him to ask God to know His ways, so that He might find more favor with God.
• He used the favor he had, to ask for more favor.
Verse 14 God responds to Moses request by saying that His presence will go with Moses and Israel.
• Everything we need is found in God’s presence.
• God also promises rest. (I don’t think this was the Sabbath rest)
o If we are walking with the presence of God, we will have rest. We’re not striving
Verse 15 Then Moses comes back with this great statement.
• They have already seen incredible miracles of God.
o And yet here Moses says do not send us up from here if your presence does not go with us.
o Certainly, God’s presence has been with them.
• But there is a difference between God’s acts, the miracles, and His ways.
• Even when God did do miracles to provide for them, they still didn’t understand who God was.
o The people just expected God to provide for them, but they never bothered to figure out what that provision meant about God.
• Moses understands that all those other things take care of themselves if we have God’s presence and understand His ways.
Verse 16 Moses now makes another incredible statement.
• Moses understands that the distinguishing mark must be the presence of the Lord.
o Not just the miracles, the Egyptian magicians did “miracles,”
Verse 17 What God is saying is, “Moses because you have been faithful with the favor I gave you, because you have sought to spend time with me, I will reward you with more favor and more time with me.
Verse 18 Because God has said he will do for Moses what he asked, because God has just shown more favor.
• Moses immediately stewards that and asks for more.
• Moses also understand that as a leader nothing will help his leadership more than being in the presence of God and even seeing His glory.