Today’s Bible Reading:

Exodus 32:1-33:23
Matthew 26:69-27:14
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 8:33-36

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Exodus 33:11 (NLT): “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend…” 

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

We are a very success-oriented, action-oriented people. 

When someone tells us how busy they are, we feel compelled to tell them how busy we are, too. We may even want to explain how much more active we are than them.

When someone tells us what they have achieved, we feel compelled to reveal our own personal achievements. We find it challenging to celebrate someone else’s accomplishments unless we have our own set of successes.

Why is this?

Primarily because we have sinful hearts. We tend to be self-focused and want others to focus on us and value us, too. In our American society, busyness and success are where we suspect that we get that value.

In today’s reading in Exodus, we are invited into a back-and-forth scene between God and Moses. The people of Israel were people of action (they were headed to the Promised Land). Further, they worked to achieve success (they needed to defeat any problem that kept them from achieving that goal).

But, their leader knew that action and success meant nothing if a vital component was missing. God had just stated that the people of Israel were so predictably stubborn and sinful that He wasn’t going to accompany them any further as they traveled to the Promised Land.

Listen to Moses’ response:

Exodus 33:15-16 (NLT): “Then Moses said, ‘If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me – on me and on your people – if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.’”

Did you get that? Moses said that unless he could count on the fact that God was with them, he didn’t want to go into action. 

What would it be like if each of us as individuals and churches would refuse to go into action unless we could guarantee that God was with us? 

Too often, we go into action and achieve some levels of success. Yet, what we accomplished could have quickly been done by someone who claims no relationship at all with the Lord. In fact, there was never any significant prayer and no sense of desperation beforehand asking for God’s presence and guidance. 

We are action/success-oriented people who have learned to build the Tower of Babel on our own apart from God’s help.

Oh, that we would become like Moses who realized that he desperately needed God’s presence. Oh, that we could be like him as he refused to act unless he knew that God was with him. Maybe then we could see our God do some amazing things among us!

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash