One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
“Oh God, you have been telling us, ‘Teach my people how to pray and how to be loved by me as I reach out for them, my Bride.’ But you haven’t told us yet whom you will provide to come alongside us. You have told us, ‘I know you by name, and I’m very fond of you.’ If it’s true that you’re really fond of us, then let us know you as you really are and let us understand your love in a deeper way and know that we’re truly treasured by you. And remember that all of these people are your very own Bride.”
The Lord replied “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest – everything will be fine for you.”
Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me – on me and on your people – if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
“Lord, if you don’t personally lead us in this uprising of prayer, if you’re not filling us with the overwhelming guidance and presence of your Spirit in this movement, then keep us from taking one more step forward. Don’t let us move if this isn’t completely Your doing. How will anyone know that you treasure us if you don’t make your presence among us clearly visible? For you are who defines us. Your Spirit among us is what sets us apart from every other religion in the world.”
The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”
“If you really are as smitten for us as your scriptures seem to indicate that you are, then please rise up among us and show us your glorious presence.”
The Lord replied, “I will make all goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
“Father, we worship you today because you are a God who cares enough for us to deal with us in our uncertainties. You love us enough to be there for us when we reach out in the darkness to feel for you to make sure that you’re still there. You tenderly respond to us when our faith is small, and we feel unlovable. Teach us your way of love. Help us to recognize our true identity in Jesus Christ. We belong to you. We are treasured by you. We are desperately loved by you."
*All scriptures from Exodus chapter 33 are from the NLT.