And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.
Exodus 33:15 ESV
In God’s anger, He was prepared to send the Israelites into the Promised Land without His presence. God is always faithful to keep His promises, and, because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He would have still given them the land. Indeed, He was ready to send a angel from heaven with them to drive out all of the Canaanites dwelling within the land.
How many people would gladly take God’s offer, willingly leaving behind His presence in order to receive His blessings and gifts?
Moses, however, was different.
He knew that this was a terrible exchange, a trade that would leave the Israelites in complete ruin. Moses understood that God Himself is far more valuable than any of His gifts or blessings. That great prophet of the Old Testament was prepared to forsake the Promised Land and all its blessings so long as it meant staying within the presence of the Holy One.
Christian, how do the words of Moses describe your life? Which do we desire more, the blessings of God or God alone?
Moses understood that a nation blessed by God yet without Him was no better off than any other people in the world. One can receive the very best of God’s provisions and still be no better than the vilest of sinners. Our desire must be to become a holy people, designated exclusively for the service of Jesus Christ, but the only way this is possible is for the very presence of the eternal God to walk beside us.
How joyous then should the Christian heart be that through the atonement of Christ we now have the indwelling Holy Spirit! The great deposit of our faith is the Spirit of God inhabiting our hearts, molding our lives into conformity with the will of God. What a great blessing we have, and how little do we think upon it! May we, like Moses, not take one step without the presence of God Almighty. May we continuously plea for His will to be accomplished through us.