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DON’T GO WITHOUT HIM

February 19, 2021

Besides those that are theists who believe in God, there are agnostics who claim neither faith nor disbelief in God, and there are polytheists who worship more than one God. I, however, using a saying from the Old testament, appreciate that I know and have a relationship with “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” I thank God I am not deceived into thinking I can function without Him in the difficult times in which we live.

Listen, Exodus 32 – 33, I believe, discloses a significant pattern to which fellow believers and I should subscribe. Prior to these chapters, as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness, Exodus 13:21-22 states, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” By His actions, the people knew God was with them.

When they arrived at Mount Sinai, God summons Moses up the mount to give him judgments, ordinances, and commandments that the children of Israel were to follow. When God finished Exodus 31:18, states, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”

Unfortunately, chapter 32 shares the folly of Israel that occurred when Moses was absent. According to the scripture, Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days, and the children of Israel thought something had happened to him. Therefore, they requested Aaron, “Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” Aaron complied with their request and made a golden calf out of their golden earrings, after which the people offered burnt offerings, brought peace offerings, sat down, had a meal, and then rose up to play.

On the mount, God says to Moses, “Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.” When Moses gets back down to camp and sees what the people had done, he became so angry he threw down the two tables that contained the commandments. He grounded the calf into powder, mixed it with water, and made the people drink it. Then he instructed those on the Lord’s side to kill all who were not, which ended up being three thousand dead men.

On the next day, Moses communicates with God about the sinful act of the people, and God said to him.” Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.”

Moses knew not to accept this instruction willingly, so he replied, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Moses understood that they needed God to be with them to be successful in unknown territory. Though guidance from an angel was useful, and though they would inhabit the land of Canaan as God promised their forefathers, neither that occupation nor the angel accompaniment could compare to having the presence of the mighty I Am, God.

Moses interceded on behalf of Israel until God acquiesced and said, “I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” When we have a loving relationship with God, He will be actively involved in our lives. We need Him every moment; that is why it is crucial for us to pray without ceasing. Stay in contact with God, express your total dependency on Him to Him, and please don’t go without Him.

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