As I approached God in my quiet time today, I was aware of my need to not be flippant or take this time in a light-hearted manner. It's so easy to draw close to God and then go coasting along and suddenly realize that you're not really LOOKING for Him, you're just going through the motions. So, I wanted to take things seriously. My daily readings have been from Exodus, and just the other day I was reading about the priests being dedicated. Coming before God was a special and unique privilege and required preparation. With this thought in mind, as well as gratitude that I'm covered by the blood of the Perfect Sacrifice, I humbly asked God to meet with me.
God is so good, because meet with me, He did! I got to camp out a bit in Exodus 33 and find all sorts of things to fill my mind with.
Exodus 33 begins God telling Moses that he will not travel among the people of Israel because they are a stubborn and rebellious people and he would surely destroy them along the way. May I quickly repent from my own stubbornness and rebellion, because where would I be if God did not travel though life with me?
Next, there is a flashback which gives us some information about how God did travel among his people. Moses met with God at the Tent of Meeting. In vs 11 it says that "the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend." How wonderful is that....Moses talked with God as a friend. What intimacy is suggested by this? The great God of the universe, bends low and abides with Moses for a while to talk. I found myself desiring to have that same fellowship.
But after a while, I began to think about this more. I am a friend of God. Thanks to Christ's sacrifice, God does have a friendship with me and is able to fellowship with me. But I'm also more than a friend. I'm also God's child....his very own adopted daughter. A daughter who's adoption papers are paid for with a great price. This is even greater than being a friend, because although a friend has great access to another friend, there are still barriers. But, as I've found since having my son, a child has unlimited access to a parent. AND that access is tempered with great love. What joy is ours!
After more mulling on the subject, I also realized how great is our privilege to not meet with God in a tent....but in a way to BE that very tent! God's Spirit indwells us and meets with us whenever we tune in. We are the ones who decide how frequent that is. AND one day that tent will be folded up Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 5 and we'll finally be with God in glory. What a day!
Later in the chapter verse 13 struck me. It's a verse in which Moses asks for something that I, too, desire. He says, If it is true you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor." Moses wants to understand God more fully....to know Him. And in the conclusion of the chapter Moses requests seeing God's glorious presence and is granted the opportunity to experience all of God's goodness passing before him and hear God speak his own name. That's getting to know God in a special way.
There's one more precious thing tucked away in this chapter. When Moses is asking God to be sure to go with them from this place, Moses asks God, "How will anyone know that you look favorably on me- on me and on your people- if you don't go with us?" (vs 16). Then he adds, "For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all the other people on the earth." It's God's presence that made Israel so different. What about me? Does God's presence set me apart in a way that others can see? Or am I very much like the world I live in, but still wanting the favor of God.
I want God to go with me. I want to know Him. I want to meet with Him. I want others to meet Him when they see me. What about you?