“Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” (33:13-15)
Please read every word of these chapters. This is an incredible moment in history, a pivotal moment in God’s story with mankind. There are hundreds of sermons which have started with these chapters: Moses speaking with God as a friend. God showing Moses His glory. The restating of the covenant. Moses veiling his face from the people. The LORD revealing His hallmark attributes (gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, etc). It’s hard to pick which incredible promise to focus on!
So I’ll choose this. Moses had gotten to know God, since his encounter at the bush, and had become certain of one thing: I’m not going anywhere without you.
The LORD is all powerful, greatly to be feared and praised, but for whatever reason, He loves His people, desires to be with them, and communicate with them. He responds to Moses’ prayers. They are somehow friends! And no matter how mad/annoyed we all are after the calf incident, I’m not going anywhere without you.
He knows there’s more to know about God. Infinitely more! He is the complex person of whom every person alive bears the image. He could complete His tasks and fulfill His incredible promises through an angel delegate, but I’m not going anywhere without you.
The people of Israel might be satisfied with a mediator. They may be too caught up in their brokenness to want a closer look at their creator, but the God of Abraham, the Great I AM has turned out to be deeply beautiful, full of love, justice, goodness, grace, holiness and I’m not going anywhere without you.
Do you see Him? Do you feel Him? Can you hear Him? Is there any substitute for Who His Is? A golden calf may seem more approachable, an angel may seem powerful enough, but HE IS THE WHITE HOT REAL DEAL. I’m not going anywhere without you.