I know you’ve seen it… A little child looks down a long, dark, hallway and a parent or caregiver is trying to encourage the child to go down the hall alone to a room located at the other end of the hallway. They urge the child – reassure the child – even perhaps try to sensitively “prod” the child to no avail. Regardless of what is said, it seems the child will not go down the hallway alone! It’s frightening to them! They grab the hand of their parent or caregiver firmly, insistently, and make it clear they are not going down that scary hallway alone!
The children of Israel faced a challenge a little like that. They had fallen into terrible sin while Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving God’s law! So, when Moses came down from the mountain, God spoke to Moses: “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ I will send My angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people!”
Moses was alarmed! This was not acceptable! He was determined not to go anywhere without the Lord’s personal presence leading, guiding and protecting them! He told the Lord, ‘See, You say 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.’ Now therefore, if I have found favor in Your sight, please show me now Your ways, that I may know You in order to find favor in Your sight. Consider too that this nation is Your people!’ And [the Lord] said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ And [Moses] said to Him, ‘If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here! For how shall it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not in Your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and Your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (From Exodus 33:1-3; 12–16 ESV)
I don’t know about you, but as I go through life and face every challenge that comes my way on this journey, I identify with that little child I used as an illustration – I identify with Moses after the failure of God’s people – I don’t want to go anywhere without the Lord’s presence! In fact, I’m banking on His promise to His children – “I will never leave you or forsake you!” (Joshua 1:5; Psalm 38:21-22; 71:9, 17-18; Hebrews 13:5)