God’s presence in our midst
By:Ysrael De la Cruz
Ever since God created the world his presence has been evident in his creation. (The Spirit of God hovered over) moved over the surface of the waters. (Gn:1:2) God created the universe and he was incredibly involved in his creation. God’s presence was evident in creation. Adam and Eve felt the presence of God and were afraid. Genesis 3 is the sad story when mankind disobeyed God by doing what he told them not to do. Gn.3:8 And they heard the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. ESV
Why would they hide from the presence of God? Because their condition had changed; they disobeyed God and were not ready to see his face. They feared for their lives because they violated their creator’s command.
Adam and Eve heard the Lord walking in the garden. God’s presence was evident; it was tangible; people felt it. God used various means in the Old Testament to communicate with people. God called certain individuals to accomplish his purpose and he promised them to be with them. He made a covenant with them.
To Abraham God said to walk faithfully and he will make a covenant with him. Gen.17:1-2
When God called Jacob, he was a fugitive and, one night, Jacob had an encountered with God through a dream in which God revealed to him who he was and what he was going to do with his family. Gen.28:16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
God promised to be with Abraham and his descendants, Isaac, Jacob and his Sons. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel and the twelve sons of Israel because the nation of Israel, the people of God. God promised them to be their God and they would be his people. God called a man named Moses to deliver his people from Egypt. (Ex.3-4) Moses had not had an experience with God until God showed up through a burning bush.
Exodus 3:6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
God promised to be with Moses to rescue his people from slavery in Egypt. God acted on behalf of his people, provided for them and delivered them from danger.
Even Israel’s enemies knew God fought for Israel.
When God freed his people from slavery, they came to the mountain of Horeb (Sinai) where God gave the law by which this nation would live. God’s presence was felt on the mountain. (Ex.19) fire, smoke and earthquake. God’s presence was felt on mount Sinai.
Moses was at the top of the mountain with God receiving instructions for the people. He was there 40 days and the people drew impatient at the foot of the mountain and began to engage in idolatry. Made of golden calf and worshiped it as their god.
God told Moses to go down quickly to the people since they had rebelled against the LORD (Ex.32) God was so angry with his people that he was going to destroy them had not Moses intervene. God still sent a plague on the people due to their disobedience.
God’s presence holds us accountable.
God told Moses and the people that he would send an angel to go ahead of them to fight the surrounding nations. But God would not go with them. Listen to these words. (Ex.33:1-6)
God would destroy the people if they continue in their rebellion. They were stiff-necked people, (stubborn or hardheaded) and to ask God to go with you means he will hold you accountable when you act hardheadedly. God would go with you, but you must play by God’s rule to guarantee his approval and his presence on your behalf.
The people mourned that day when they heard that the LORD would not continue with them.
Moses met with God on a place called the tent of meeting. A tent outside the camp where Moses would go in to meet with Yahweh. When God came in, a pillar of cloud would descend. Those in the camp saw stand up and worship (v.10)
God would speak with Moses face to face, like a person would speak with another person.
Moses pleaded with the LORD (v.12-17)
You told me to lead 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 found favor in my sight.”
If I have found favor in your sight show me your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. (v.13)
-Consider too that this nation is your people.
God’s answer (v.14) M presence will go with you and give you rest.
Moses’ answer (vv.15-16)
15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16For 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?”
God’s presence in our midst is the distinctive mark that God is pleased with you. (It will show others that I have found favor in your sight)
It is what distinguishes or separates God’s people from the rest of people in the world.
God’s people are known by his presence in their midst. This separated Israel from the other nations. Israel was God’s people known by his presence going everywhere they went.
God’s presence is what separates us from the rest of the world.
Moses told God if your presence does not go with us. If you are not going with us, don’t tell us to leave. We will move when you go with us. Without your presence I would not go anywhere. Without your presence we become just like everyone else who does not know you. Your presence is our greatest weapon.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go through this year without his presence guiding me. It is his presence that would guarantee victory over any trials and difficulties we encounter today. His presence is a great thing, but if we don’t play by his rule and follow his word, then the very thing that is meant to bring us success will bring disaster on us. God will go with us, but we must obey his word and play by his rule.