In the biblical history of the Old Testament, the person that had the most intimate relationship with Jehovah God was Moses. After the terrible sin of making the idol of the golden calf, the Lord said that He would stop manifesting His PRESENCE among the people. They were a stiff necked, rebellious people. The Lord told the people that they deserved to be consumed in judgment but because of His grace He would send an angel to guide them (Exodus 33:1-6).

Dr. Gary Baker is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email him at pastor@gracebaptistpaso.org.

However, Moses desired to have a close relationship with the Lord and enjoy fellowship with Him in a unique way. Moses built a personal tabernacle away from the camp and there desired to meet face to face with the Lord (Exodus 33:7-11). The Lord was pleased with Moses’ attitude and action. The Lord personally came to this tabernacle and talked with Moses in the pillar of
cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses as a close friend (Exodus 33:11).

Moses requested to continue to have a close relationship with the Lord so that he could give guidance to the people. Moses asked that God would be gracious to him. The Lord responded with a promise: “My PRESENCE will go with you and I will give you REST” (Exodus 33:12-14). Moses appealed to God’s grace in his prayer and this was the key to God’s answer. God loves to be gracious to His people and abundantly give them what they do not deserve (Hebrews 4:16). The Lord
promised Moses that He would continue to be gracious to His people (Exodus 33:15-17).

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Then Moses boldly asks the Lord to uniquely manifest His PRESENCE to him. (Exodus 33:18). The Lord is a spirit being and doesn’t possess a permanent body (John 4:24) and normally is invisible to human sight (Colossians 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:17). However, the Lord will appear to Moses in a human body and manifest His glory to Moses (Exodus 33:19-20). The Lord would
protect Moses from dying by seeing God’s glory. The appearance of God in human form was temporary for the sake of Moses who could never have seen an invisible spirit. Moses uniquely saw the Lord’s glory as he had requested (Exodus 33:21-23). What a great blessing he experienced drawing close to the Lord and enjoying His presence.

Lessons to be LEARNED

  1. Rebellious sin will cause God to withdraw from us.
  2. God desires to have a close relationship with His children who desire it. James 4:8:”Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”.
  3. When God manifests His PRESENCE in our lives, we will be GREATLY BLESSED: Psalm 23.