The verse of the day is Exodus 33:12. Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me.”
A heavy cloak of sadness enveloped Moses, Israel’s leader. The enormous burden of leading this obstinate group of people pressed in on his heart, threatening to crush him under the weight. How could these men and women, after seeing all God had done for them, turn to another god? While Moses had been on the mountain of Sinai receiving God’s instructions for His chosen people, they had gotten tired of waiting, gathered all the gold they could find, and proceeded to fashion the form of a calf to which they bowed down – as if an inanimate piece of mineral from the earth could do anything for them.
God, in his anger over their rejection, told Moses that He would send an angel to lead them into the land He had promised, but that He would not accompany them into this land of milk and honey. Moses in desperation came before the Lord and begged Him, “If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” Moses knew that God’s presence was essential to Israel’s success and testimony before the world. Without it they would sink into the world’s ways of sin and their light would be extinguished.
Today we also must live in the light of God’s presence. The world is a wicked place with many avenues of temptation. Without God’s presence leading us we can easily fall into bad company and make terrible mistakes. The Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, but often we do not look for His leading. Like the Israelites we replace Him with other things instead of waiting for His perfect and loving guidance. We get tired of waiting or we fill our lives with so many other things that we have no time to seek Him through a daily study of His Word and prayer.
When we reject His presence in our lives, we become indistinguishable from the rest of the world. This is when our light of testimony grows dim. Others who may have a desire to go to this “land of promise” will not see our light and will flounder away in darkness. When Moses pleaded with the Lord He gave an encouraging answer. God waits for us also to turn to Him for His guidance. Ask the question just as Moses did – “Whom will you send with me?” His answer will be the same, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”