Before we move on from Exodus 33, I want to spend some time looking at an important side character. We’ve seen him on the fringes. While not the main character yet, his name is scattered through the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. His name is mentioned seven times in the book of Exodus, mostly in obscure references that you would never notice. But I think that it is important to take a look at these references, because if we’re going to study how God shapes His leaders, we must look at the shaping of this man into the future leader of Israel. Therefore, today we’re going to look at the role of Joshua.
Last week, we explored the power and profound meaning of what it means to be known by God. We talked about how God honored Moses’ request because He knew Moses and shared intimate relationship with Him. Therefore, the LORD answered Moses’ intercession with a change of heart and showed Moses His glory while protecting him from the pure beauty and holiness of His presence.
After all that, I was prepared to move on from this topic; however, God stirred my heart and pointed out another perspective to this amazing encounter: Moses’ point of view. We never explored what prompted Moses to make that bold request to see God’s glory. So let’s do that today.
“When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”
~Exodus 33:9, 11a
What a relationship Moses shared with God! The Bible tells us that he spoke with God face to face as a man talks with a friend. The intimacy of that relationship is hard to grasp! Obviously, Moses knew the Lord deeply, and more importantly was known by God just as deeply. Today, we’re going to explore the wonder of being known by God, the access that allows us to enter God’s presence, and the power we have as a known child of God.
The saga of the golden calf ends on a tragic note as the LORD sent a plague upon the people because of their sin. However, Exodus 33 opens with a beautiful reminder that even though the Israelites had failed, God is faithful to keep His promises and that His word remains true. Therefore, even though the Israelites experienced moral failure at the base of Mount Sinai, it was time to move on and march forward into the Promised Land under the blessing of God.
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