If thy presence go not with me
‘If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.’
Exodus Chapter 33 Verse 15
Without God we can do
nothing. How often have I said that to people? Yet learning the truth and
reality of that statement for myself and in my own life has been and is
The Lord's Day can be a
long day for me, especially when I am unable to attend the means of grace. I
enjoy the time it gives me to study and to meditate, yet there are many hours
when I allow my mind to wander.
It is only when things
go wrong that I recall the error of my way. It is pointless leaving God out of
the equation! I commit my way to Him daily, yet I have the tendency to dictate
the way in which my life will pan out. What then is the point of committing my
way to God?
Moses knew that taking
one single step without God's presence was pointless. He knew that should he
go his own way then it would prove to be disastrous.
He did however have the confidence and experience to believe that if God was with him then he could go through anything and this is a lesson that I also must learn. I must have a confidence in God that come what may in my life, as long as He is with me, then all will be well.
I do not mean that my life will suddenly become a bed of roses or that everything I touch will turn to gold - far from it. I must have the confidence that no matter what I have to go through in my life, whether it be further pain, illness, loss, shame or whatever else, I am happy to walk along this path because God is with me.
Reading this chapter I noted that the children of Israel all stood at the door of their tents as Moses went into the tabernacle. There was an air of expectancy among them. Would God accept Moses on their behalf? Could Moses plead their case for them?
Not until the cloudy
pillar descended upon the tabernacle did they worship the Lord. "God spoke to
Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." I love this verse - it
thrills my soul. Can you picture the scene? The Creator God talking face to
face with His creature!
If any of you are
wondering about what makes the Christian religion different from any other
then surely this is one aspect. When questioned by a Hindu or Moslem ask him
this simple question: "Does your God talk to you?
I too can stand at my
door and look not to Moses, but to the sacrifice that Jesus made on my behalf.
He bore God's wrath and curse that was due to me for my sins.
I can now approach God
in the holy of holies and speak to Him face to face as a man speaks to his
friend. Of course I can only do this if I am clothed with the righteousness of
Life is not about
standing still. We would like to be like Joshua who departed not from the
tabernacle. But we are on a journey, and the rest of our life begins today.
Yesterday with all its cares and worries is behind us.
The way He chooses for us may be difficult with many obstacles. Hardship, loneliness and pain may be our portion for much of our journey, however I have said this before and I will say it again: I would rather be with Jesus in the middle of a storm than to be standing alone on the shore.
There may be some today
who dread what they may have to face in the coming days. Left to ourselves we
would faint and fail.
I want the company of the God in whom Moses trusted all the days of my life. Whose company do want on life's journey?
Author : Iain
Mackenzie Edited by : Pastor Al Moak