12 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 [g]earth?”
There is an interesting story in Exodus chapter 33 about the importance of the presence of God. At this point in Israel’s history, God is reaffirming to Moses that he is bringing the people in to the land of promise. The problem is, in light of Israel’s obstinate ways, the Lord is telling Moses that he will send an angel before the people of Israel to leave them into the land of Canaan, but he is not going to personally go with them. Moses reacts strongly, because he tells the Lord that if is His presence does not go with them, then he Moses does not want to go. Moses reminds the Lord , that it’s still more presents that makes Israel and unique. Without the Lords presence, they are like every other people. Eventually, the Lord reassures Moses that his presence will go with them into the land of Canaan, and that he will give them a rest. If you remember, Canaan was the land of blessing. It is there that Israel was to experience a land flowing with milk and honey. What Moses was essentially saying, was that presence of God is the greatest blessing. A lot of us long for blessings. This is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with longing for blessings. As a matter of fact, God longs to bless us. Unfortunately, we often also find ourselves jealous about the blessings other people get to experience. We should never be jealous of other people’s blessing. The greatest blessing of all is the presence of God. Each one of us have the opportunity to cultivate that presence as much as we want. There is no limit to how much of God’s presence we can harvest. We alone, each of us,set that limit. It’s in his presence that we find fullness of joy. Have a great day today cultivating and harvesting the greatest blessing of all, the very presence of God.
In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide!
Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus’ side!
Earthly cares can never vex me, neither trials lay me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me, to the secret place I go,
To the secret place I go.
When my soul is faint and thirsty, ’neath the shadow of His wing
There is cool and pleasant shelter, and a fresh and crystal spring;
And my Savior rests beside me, as we hold communion sweet:
If I tried, I could not utter what He says when thus we meet,
What He says when thus we meet.
Only this I know: I tell Him all my doubts, my griefs and fears;
Oh, how patiently He listens! and my drooping soul He cheers:
Do you think He ne’er reproves me? What a false Friend He would be,
If He never, never told me of the sins which He must see,
Of the sins which He must see.
Would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow: this shall then be your reward;
And whene’er you leave the silence of that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image of the Master in your face,
Of the Master in your face.