The Lord Promises
12Moses said to the Lord, “I know that you have told me to lead these people to the land you promised them. But you have not said who will go along to help me. You have said that you are my friend and that you are pleased with me. 13If this is true, let me know what your plans are, then I can obey and continue to please you. And don't forget that you have chosen this nation to be your own.”
14The Lord said, “I will go with you and give you peace.”
15Then Moses replied, “If you aren't going with us, please don't make us leave this place. 16But if you do go with us, everyone will know that you are pleased with your people and with me. That way, we will be different from the rest of the people on earth.”
17So the Lord told him, “I will do what you have asked, because I am your friend and I am pleased with you.”
18Then Moses said, “I pray that you will let me see you in all of your glory.”
19 The Lord answered:
All right. I am the Lord, and I show mercy and kindness to anyone I choose. I will let you see my glory and hear my holy name, 20but I won't let you see my face, because anyone who sees my face will die. 21There is a rock not far from me. Stand beside it, 22and before I pass by in all of my shining glory, I will put you in a large crack in the rock. I will cover your eyes with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back. You will not see my face.
Leadership is never an easy task. Indeed dealing with people, whether co-workers or family members, is often a challenge. It is no surprise that Moses would seek the assurance of God’s presence. The responsibility of leadership can be lonely. After a long day, we seek the soothing touch of God like a child longs for his parent, who reminds him that he is on the right path and assures him that he is not alone.
The request of Moses also reflects a much deeper yearning. While the stress of leadership may highlight the yearning, every heart aches for more of God’s presence. Every one of us craves for the reassuring touch of God.
It is good to be reminded that this yearning is in everyone. It is easy to forget this when a co-worker seems irritable or a child seems unruly. Yet common to all is the spiritual hunger for more of God.
Moses longed that he and his people be recognized as accompanied by God, whose presence would distinguish them from other people. Yet God promised Abram that he would be a blessing to all peoples on the earth (Genesis 12:3). God’s ultimate plan is to redeem the whole world.
To recognize the common yearning in each person we meet is to remain aware of God’s redemptive activity. And with renewed awareness we will more readily align ourselves with God’s activity. The yearning you have for God is common to all you will meet this day.
Lord, help my yearning for you this day draw out that same yearning you have placed in others.