1182.) Exodus 33

"The Cleft of the Rock"  painting by Josiah King

“The Cleft of the Rock” painting by Josiah King

Exodus 33   (NRSV)

The Command to Leave Sinai

The Lord said to Moses, “Go, leave this place, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, and go to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ 2I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 3Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, or I would consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

4When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments. 5For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.’“ 6Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.

The Tent outside the Camp

the "tent of meeting" outside the camp

the “tent of meeting” outside the camp

7Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp; he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp.

This was not the tabernacle, which had yet to be built.  Rather, this was a temporary structure which served as a meeting place for God and Moses. 

8Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise and stand, each of them, at the entrance of their tents and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. 9When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and bow down, all of them, at the entrance of their tent. 11Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then he would return to the camp; but his young assistant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the tent.

Moses’ Intercession

Again Moses faithfully intercedes for the people.

12Moses 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.’ 13Now 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.”

Psalm 94:14 (English Standard Version)

For the LORD will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage.

14He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here.

Ex33 go

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Exodus 33:14-15:  And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.  And he said unto Him, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

Let us take these words not so much for a sketch of unknown months, but just for today.  Are they not wonderful?  If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence — for indeed I cannot think of even one hour without.  My presence shall go with thee — with thee through this day. And I will give thee rest.

The disciples were full of fear when Jesus Himself came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you (John 20:19).  He will stand in the midst of this day, of this month, and say to you, “Peace.”

The God of Hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing that in very truth His presence will go with us throughout this day.

_________________________

Music:

Avalon and “I Don’t Want to Go”

_________________________

16For 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.”

17The 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.”

18Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.”

The Transfiguration, by Duccio, active 1278-1319.  Moses sees the glory of God  face to face!

The Transfiguration, by Duccio, active 1278-1319.

Mark 9:2-4   (NIV)

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

John 14:9 (NIV)

 Jesus answered: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

19And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The Lord’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.”

Matthew 13:17 (New International Version)

For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

21And the Lord continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; 22and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

–Fanny Crosby

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
King.  http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3396/3275867013_7f58d164a4.jpg?v=0

Tent of Meeting.  http://www.biblical-art.com/extra/ownpub/children/047.jpg

If you don’t go.    http://cdn.mdsone.com/c/posydney/artwork/6382186_22371.jpg
Duccio.   http://www.rcdomeducation.org.uk/uploads/1/0/5/4/10541428/2296077_orig.jpg?400
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