Monday, April 22, 2019
Yesterday the challenge was to be people like Moses who are truly known to God by our reputation and character and find favor in His sight. Today the challenge is to be people like Moses who seek to know God fully.
Exodus 33:13-14 “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Notice how Moses begins this dialogue with God: he builds upon what God has already said about him. “If you are pleased with me, then let me know you better.” Now we must be careful not to fall into the misinterpretation of this statement as some have. We do not earn the knowledge of God by doing all the good works necessary to please Him. Quite the contrary! God and Moses had a relationship based on faith, not works. But as a result of his faith in God and the loving relationship that had been established based on faith, Moses’ character was changed, and he responded to God by serving Him obediently. Works are always the result of faith, never the means to it.
But when Moses realized that the character development that was taking place in his life pleased God, he wanted to be sure that he would continue to live in the favor of the Lord. I think far too many of us are content with where we are right now. We may have stopped seeking to know more about God or to experience more of God’s power in our lives. But Moses wanted everything from God that was available to him, so he asked for it.
It is important that God see the true condition of our hearts in the asking. As a father, I am most blessed with my children and grandchildren when they ask me for something. It represents a heart of trust and humble dependence: trust in the loving supply of the father and humble acceptance of one’s own inability to provide totally for self. This is how God views our asking Him to supply our needs and reveal His nature.
Moses also understood that if God would reveal His ways to him, he would be better able to understand His nature and character. We do the same in our relationships. We observe their actions to better understand their character. We can do the same with God. When we ask Him to reveal Himself through His activity, we gain a deeper understanding of His nature and character.
Many of us have limited understanding of the fullness of God’s presence because we are still doing far too much in our own strength and wisdom. We must step back and ask God to show us His way of doing it, and then we will begin to truly know His heart.
In response to Moses’ request, God gives him two promises:
- “My Presence will go with you.” This is the Hebrew word “face”. Those who seek to know God will be blessed with the favor of God’s face shining upon them. Those who seek self will have the face of God turned against them (Ps. 34:16)
- “I will give you rest.” Seeking to know God in the fullness of His nature and character brings peace to our lives because of the faith and trust that grows out of that knowledge. When our youngest grandson is fussy, his parents have the ability to get him to rest because he already knows he can trust their strong arms and provision for his life.
The faith lesson for today is this: seek God. Seek His face. Ask Him to reveal His ways to you so that you may truly know His character. Then you will find rest.