Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Exodus 33:15-17 NASB

"I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name."

The making of a golden calf and the giving of the law was not a good mix.  The gods of Egypt and the God of Eternity could not be in the same camp.  When the children of Israel tried to mix the two, all heaven broke loose.  The LORD told Moses to basically get out of the way, "that my anger may burn against them, and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation (I'll start over again),"  (Exodus 32:10).  Just as much as hell and heaven don't mix, because they are in flat contradiction to each other, so the very characteristics that make up hell and heaven don't mix because they too are in flat out contradiction to each other.  Sin and God are mutually exclusive.  He just simply won't have it.  It was only by the intercession of Moses that "the Lord," as the writer notes, "changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to the people," (32:14).  But it didn't change the consequences.  As Moses pleaded for God to forgive their sin, offering to even take their place, he said,  "please blot me out from Your book..." (32:32).  The LORD responded, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of my book,"  (32:33).  This was serious stuff.  The LORD was so angry that, even though He changed His mind about destroying the people, He said, "I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, lest I destroy you on the way... I will send an angel before you..." (33:3, 2).  Moses can't stand the thought.  He pleads with the LORD, saying, "If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.  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 and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?"  (33:15-16).  This kind of heart was too much for the LORD. He said "I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name," (33:17). Oh, the power of God's children!  They are known by God and, with them, He says, "My Presence will go with you!"  There is nothing that can take the place of God's presence.  Don't give it up for anything!  From the depths of your soul, fight for His Presence!  It's the only thing that distinguishes us from the rest of the world.  Though they may not know it, God's Presence with His children is the world's only hope.  Plead for the people around you.  Your prayers have power before the God of the universe.  What a tremendous thought!  What a sobering thought.

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