TO CHEW ON: "So the Lord said to Moses, 'I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in my sight, and I know you by name.'" Exodus 33:17
Moses was close to God. God was close to Moses. Our reading today shows how intimate they were. Let's take a look at their relationship to discover some of its secrets.
God and Moses had conversations. In this one (Exodus 33:1-3, 5), God gave Moses a hard message for the Israelites. Moses' respect for God meant that he didn't try to defend or justify the sins of the people he led. Instead, he relayed all God's hard words and for once the people were grieved and repented.
Moses made his own little tent "tabernacle" before the elaborate one that God designed ever existed. It was "outside the camp," away from the hustle and bustle, the commerce and labor, the interruptions and emergencies of everyday life. There God met him in a visible way (Exodus 33:9-10) and "...spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend" (Exodus 33:11).
Moses felt weighed own by the burden of leadership and asked God to send someone to work alongside him. I wonder if he was surprised by God's answer to his request: "My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest."
In response to God's promise of Presence, Moses pledged to keep God's people separate—a people to Him alone (Exodus 33:16). God replied by reassuring Moses of their special relationship: "I know you by name."
Finally Moses asked for God for an actual sensory experience of Him: "Please show me Your glory" (Exodus 33:18). God gave him a visual glimpse of His receding presence (Exodus 33:20-23).
Do we want to be intimate with God like that? If we do, let's examine our lives for the characteristics of intimate relationships found in Moses' friendship with God.
- Are we respectful of what He says, or do we argue and justify ourselves to Him?
- Are we intentional about setting aside a time and meeting Him there?
- When we meet, are we transparent? Do we bare our hearts? Are we honest about our fears and insecurities? Do we listen for God's (sometimes surprising) answers?
- Are we expressive? Do we tell God how much we love Him? Do we pray, praise, and worship using our voices (not saying the words only in our heads)?
- Do we want more intimacy? Do we keep pressing in?
PRAYER: Dear God, I love this description of Your relationship with Moses. Please show me where I can improve my relationship with You. I want to you say of me, "I know you by name." Amen.
MORE: Intimate with Jesus
"When once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out all the time without being pathetic The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having unhindered way, because the last abyss of his nature has been satisfied by Jesus. The only impression left by such a life is that of the strong calm sanity that Our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, January 7 reading.************
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.