What good is God’s blessing if it is not accompanied by God’s presence? God always keeps his promises, so he told Moses that He would fulfill his commitment to Israel to give them the Promised Land. However, He would not go before them, but send an angel instead.
Ex. 33:1-4a “And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey:”
1. Sin separates our fellowship with God!
“for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.
And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned:”
2. God’s MERCY allows us to seek Him!
V7 “And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.”
3. God’s GRACE allows for fellowship to be restored!
V12-14 “And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.”
4. His continual PRESENCE gives rest and peace!
“And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.”
LESSON - The Israelites mourned at the very thought of entering the Promised Land without God‘s presence (fellowship). Oh that Believers would once again mourn over their sin! Because God is merciful, He allows His grace to cover us and for fellowship to be restored when we repent and “approach” Him. Without His presence, we will never experience the peace and rest which only comes through renewed fellowship with Him. Don’t be stubborn! Do what the Holy Spirit has already instructed you to do.