Moses and the "us" of God's Presence

Platt pointed out in a talk concerning Exodus 33 that Moses was a community minded leader. As Moses went up to receive the Ten Commandments, the people stayed at the base of the mountain and made the golden calf, an idol, to worship. The Lord was angry. Understandably so. As Exodus 33 begins, the Lord told Moses that they could all go up to the promised land and conquer. They would drive people out and receive the goodness of the land. The catch was that the presence of God would not go with them. Moses responded by saying that if God’s presence would not go, then neither would the people. Now check out these verses from Exodus 33:14-15:

The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’

Then Moses said to Him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.

If you dig a little deeper, you notice that word “you” in verse 14 is singular. The Lord was telling Moses, “You can go up by yourself. And I will go with you.” Here was Moses’ big chance. He could leave the whiners and complainers behind and go up by himself to the promised land. But Moses responded with the plural “us.” He said, “I won’t leave the people. We must go together.”

Too often I am concerned about myself. My ministry. My blessings. My life. I lose the concept that we are doing this together as a community. We are growing in faith together. We must be committed to one another, to the spiritual growth of each other, and begin to see ourselves as spiritually inseparable from those around us. That’s what I learned from Moses today.


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  • Jeremy says:

    I am often concerned with all of the “me” stuff as well brother. I would love to develop the heart of Moses and our brother Paul when it comes to their deep desire for their fellow people to experience the relationship that they have with the Father. Very challenging.

  • michaelscottkelley says:

    Thanks for the comment Jeremy; it seems like maybe some of our American idealism has crept into our faith, doesn’t it? The more I read the more I see this “us” and “we” emphasis in Scripture.

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