Consider the amazing events recorded in Exodus 32 & 33. Moses has experienced unimaginable victory: the Egyptians have been defeated, God’s people have been delivered from slavery into freedom, and Moses has received ten life-giving words that will re-order Israel’s new identity as God’s very own society.
Moses was literally at the heights of revelation and victory. When he came down from the mountaintop he got the surprise of his life: the people of Israel, freshly rescued from 400 years of misery, had turned away from God, created a golden statue of a calf, and bowed down to their newly-created idol. Worse still, the “worship” of the man-made statue involved the kind of party that would make your mother blush.
When you turn to Exodus 33, that’s the story so far. Some days are diamonds, some days are stones, and some days are calf manure. In that very place of betrayal and spiritual adultery, God chose to demonstrate his goodness to Moses. Exodus 33: 12 – 23 takes only a moment to read, and we can discover at least four meditations:
1). As Moses pleads with God for help, and God answers simply, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” God’s first answer is to offer his presence. It’s what we need most. Selah: pause, and think about that!
2). Moses responds with wisdom that still applies for us today: regarding God’s presence Moses says, “What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” The distinguishing mark of God’s people is his presence. In times of victory or trouble, his presence is our identity. I know it’s Monday, but Selah: pause, and think about that!
3). God’s assurances are personal and filled with approval. Moses is bold enough to push all the chips into the middle of the table and say, “Show me your glory.” What a strange request when there are so many problems to solve! Today, make time and Selah: pause, and think about that!
4). Finally, even as God himself says, “yes,” to Moses, God offers a gentle instruction. Moses asked, “show me your glory,” and God says, “I will cause my goodness to pass in front of you.” The lesson is: one of the ways God demonstrates his glory is to show us his goodness. Why not ask him today to open your eyes to his goodness?