Exodus 33:12-16 – “Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘ Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ 13 “Now, therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, ” My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, ” If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” NASU
Every time I read this passage I am moved by the heart of Moses, the act of intercession, and the Promises of God. The people had quickly moved into idolatry and the laughable excuse that Aaron made is indelibly imprinted on my mind. “I just took the gold, threw it in the fire, and out came this golden calf.” I wonder if he had been sniffing something stronger than incense when he said that? But, that is another story for another time. Moses realized the incredibly difficult task of keeping the entire nation focused on their purpose and committed to God. He knew that he must have something more so that he could effectively lead the nation in the right path and reach the Place of Promise
Moses, in his intercession and appeal, reminded God of the process through which Israel was delivered from the bondage of Egypt. Moses began, “LORD, you are the one responsible for them. I didn’t do it on my own. You said, bring this people out!” Moses reminded God of his protests and that God has said, “I know you by name and you have found favor in my sight.” Then he pleaded for mercy saying, “IF I have found favor in your sight, let me know your ways, so that I may find favor in your sight.” He reminded God that Israel was His people because it was God who had redeemed them from bondage. The heart of an intercessor always seeks more of God so that he/she can impart that to others and effectively pray from or with the heart of God.
God spoke to Moses and said, “My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest.” That is the cry of my heart, GOD’S PRESENCE, and GOD’S REST. It is only out of His presence and anointing that I can have any positive impact on others. It is only out of His rest that I can walk in faith. His rest brings peace and that peace allows my heart to focus on Him and His Promises without the turmoil of life blinding my upward vision. Moses, I am sure was elated to hear that but his next statement drives home the importance of God’s Presence and Rest. Moses said, “IF your presence does not go with us, don’t lead us from here.” I love the old gospel song, “I won’t walk without Jesus, I won’t talk without Jesus; I refuse to live one day as before. I won’t go without Jesus, Just ain’t so without Jesus; Everything that I would do, I just won’t do without the Lord.” Without Him, we truly can do nothing. Without Him, we surely fail. But with Him, we are more than conquerors.
Moses was broken-hearted at the failure of his brother Aaron and the people. He was filled with the fear and awe of God and knew that God’s anger, if not stayed, would consume the people. Even with his disappointment over the sin of the people, Moses, the intercessor, went before the throne of heaven and pleaded for MORE of God. More of God’s love. More of God’s Person. More of God’s Presence. More of God’s Mercy. He had the people on his heart and was so committed to interceding for them that He could say, “If you blot them out, blot me out too.” That was a million miles from his desire but he was committed to standing in the gap and making up the hedge for those he had been charged with leading. That kind of commitment is required in the effective and fervent prayers of intercession.
I am praying for the church, individuals within the church, and our nation. The harvest is ripe and yet the laborers are too few. There are many adversaries and I am praying for a great door to be open and a mighty move of the Holy Spirit bringing sweeping revival to the church and the nation.
Blessings as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus!