Exodus – God’s Way Out!
When parents have reached their limit with their children’s bad behavior, “GO” words come from their mouths in rapid fire. “Get up and go, get out of my sight!” “Go to your room!” “Go mow the yard!” “Go do the dishes!” Mostly it’s just “GO”. When a parent is angry with their kids, to send them out of the room is the wise thing to do. There needs to be a time of cool down or irrational, more hurtful words, will spew from our mouths. Even God had trouble with His kids.
After the whole “holy cow” incident, God said to Moses, “Now go. Get on your way from here…” Get away from the scene of the crime of idolatry, God seems to say, and move on to what I have for you. Then he tells Moses, “I won’t be with you in Person..” He is saying that His anger might turn ugly if He stays with them.
Can you imagine making God so angry that He doesn’t want to be in the same place with you?
Can we remember, also, that God will not and can not reside in the same place with sin. They do not mix. For God is perfect, all God, not man. God is Creator who banished Adam from the Garden of Eden, the garden of perfection, when he and Eve sinned with disobedience. The fall of man, sin, keeps us from our intimate relationship with God.
Anger comes from extreme hurt. It grieves God when we sin because He doesn’t want anything coming between our relationship with Him. We cannot continue to sin and have a relationship God at the same time. One has to go.
Right now, the people must get up and go…
Exodus 33, The Message
1-3 God said to Moses: “Now go. Get on your way from here, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Head for the land which I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel ahead of you and I’ll drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. It’s a land flowing with milk and honey. But I won’t be with you in person—you’re such a stubborn, hard-headed people!—lest I destroy you on the journey.”
4 When the people heard this harsh verdict, they were plunged into gloom and wore long faces. No one put on jewelry.
5-6 God said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You’re one hard-headed people. I couldn’t stand being with you for even a moment—I’d destroy you. So take off all your jewelry until I figure out what to do with you.’” So the Israelites stripped themselves of their jewelry from Mount Horeb on.
7-10 Moses used to take the Tent and set it up outside the camp, some distance away. He called it the Tent of Meeting. Anyone who sought God would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. It went like this: When Moses would go to the Tent, all the people would stand at attention; each man would take his position at the entrance to his tent with his eyes on Moses until he entered the Tent; whenever Moses entered the Tent, the Pillar of Cloud descended to the entrance to the Tent and God spoke with Moses. All the people would see the Pillar of Cloud at the entrance to the Tent, stand at attention, and then bow down in worship, each man at the entrance to his tent.
11 And God spoke with Moses face-to-face, as neighbors speak to one another. When he would return to the camp, his attendant, the young man Joshua, stayed—he didn’t leave the Tent.
12-13 Moses said to God, “Look, you tell me, ‘Lead this people,’ but you don’t let me know whom you’re going to send with me. You tell me, ‘I know you well and you are special to me.’ If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being special to you. Don’t forget, this is your people, your responsibility.”
14 God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”
15-16 Moses said, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with me in this, with me and your people? Are you traveling with us or not? How else will we know that we’re special, I and your people, among all other people on this planet Earth?”
17 God said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name.”
18 Moses said, “Please. Let me see your Glory.”
19 God said, “I will make my Goodness pass right in front of you; I’ll call out the name, God, right before you. I’ll treat well whomever I want to treat well and I’ll be kind to whomever I want to be kind.”
20 God continued, “But you may not see my face. No one can see me and live.”
21-23 God said, “Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I’ll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. Then I’ll take my hand away and you’ll see my back. But you won’t see my face.”
MOSES MEDIATES FOR THE PEOPLE
God’s people heard the verdict and realized they have made God very angry. They show signs of at least being sorry they got caught in their sin. He is so angry God doesn’t want to be with them. He did send an angel to guide them, but Moses mediates for the people before God with a passionate plea for mercy…AND for God’s Presence to return.
Notice the intimate relationship Moses has with God. Moses is not afraid to go to God and “talk it out” while presenting his case for the people. Guess who does that for us?
Jesus, God’s Son, is our advocate, our mediator before God. There is not a more intimate relationship on earth or heaven than this relationship between God and His Son! To believers, we begin our relationship with God through Jesus. We repent of doing life our way and ask forgiveness for all our sin. Like Moses, we ask then for God’s leading, “…let me in on your plans.” And God responds with “I know the plans I have for you…” (Jeremiah 29:11) when we seek Him with a sincere heart.
Jesus has the power and authority from God to forgive us immediately and completely. Yes, Jesus, who loved us so much He died and rose again in power, talks to God on our behalf!
With this relentless, compassionate Love, Jesus goes before God with a plea for us, maybe something like this, “Put your hand on them, Father, give them one more day to come back to You”. Jesus is not only Savior, but our constant Mediator before the Father for you and for me. Our sin, not in part, but the whole is forgiven because of Jesus, when we ask for it.
Remember Jesus’ prayer for His disciples AND for us just before going to the cross to exchange His life for our lives?
“My prayer is not for them (disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
We can have the same intimate relationship with God if we believe that Jesus died for our sin. He prayed for us then, He mediates for us now before the Father!
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
We are related to Christ! We share the same Father…GOD!
How does it feel to know that Jesus mediates for you before God, The Father, the Creator of all?
THIS is relationship to God. This is a holy, loving, merciful, full of grace, intimate relationship that is like no other! GO for it!
Dear Heavenly Father,
YOU are the One and Only and YOU are the one for me. Thank you for saving us. Thank you for your plans and promises for each one of us who believe. Thank you for loving us the way you do. Help us to love you back and to love others the way you love us.
In Jesus Name, Amen