I’m not the only one in my class who can testify that studying Genesis and Exodus alone has already been life-changing. Using the inductive study to read the Bible (without looking at any other person’s commentaries/viewpoints), and simply receiving the revelation from the Holy Spirit, who is our Teacher, is life-giving!
This past week we studied Exodus and it was just as powerful for me as Genesis was, but in a totally different way. We read Exodus from start to finish without taking too long of breaks. By doing this, the overall messages behind the book is much more easily grasped. Although there were many themes in the book, I particularly loved seeing the intimate relationship between God and Moses develop.
So at one point, God got angry at the Israelites (because they had decided to worship the golden calf) and no longer wanted to accompany them on their journey to the Promised Land. It seems to me, however, that God never really wanted to leave them alone, but just longed for Moses to step in and fight for Him. This is Moses dialogue with God:
12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13 Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
14 He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.”
17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
When I read this, my spirit was so moved. This is a conversation between lovers. Look in verse 14! God already told Moses that He’d go with him, but Moses continues to plead, as if to say, “Tell me you’ll go with me, again. Just so I can hear it.”
I was only able to pick up on this love scene because I studied the entire book in context. If I had read this as an isolated passage, I would have never picked up on the romance. But because I saw how God and Moses’ relationship developed, I could read between the lines…these were just two lovers who already knew each other’s answers and just wanted them to hear one another say it!
But only Moses was chosen to have this very special relationship with God in Exodus. There was a veil in His dwelling place, a curtain, separating the Holy God from His people. Moses spent so much time with God, that his face literally reflected His radiance:
Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off…
After reading this, I was immediately convicted! Jesus died so that I could be made righteous. Now, since the veil has been torn, I too can stand in the presence of God! And yet throughout the day I let my thoughts race away from God. I stop focusing on the presence of God that Jesus died to give. To set aside time for prayer with God is great, but I want to recognize His presence throughout the day…when I’m working, exercising, socializing, whenever! This requires me to lay down my worries, my schedule, my fears, and instead talk to God and praise Him for all that He is and has done.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thess 5:16-18
Thank you Jesus that You died so that I too can develop this extremely intimate relationship with God, just like Moses had. May I honor what You died to give by continually praying, giving thanks, and acknowledging Your Presence that lives inside of me.