March 24, 2018
Day 83 and we read in Exodus 33. It's heartbreaking to read the beginning part of the chapter when the Lord refuses to go "in the midst" of the people because they are stiff-necked. And the Lord says "...put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee."
The word, stiff-necked, is a word that will be used many times in the years to come to describe the Israelites and used to describe the priest-council Stephen spoke to in Acts 7. To be stiff-necked (or severely stubborn) is our only defense to God and His ways. Isn't that interesting?
Just be stubborn and we build a wall between us and God. That's all it takes.
We can be humble!
The choice is given to us. Am I willing to change my attitude or position? Repentance is not only asking God for forgiveness but it's to turn away from the evil path to "change" my attitude. Repentance is a reversal of my decision. Paul says, "...I die daily." Why? Because daily I can quickly and easily be stubborn. And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry (1 Sam 15:23).
The Israelites stripped off their ornaments and, today, we take off everything that describes/represents us so we can be open and vulnerable before the Lord. And when the humble come before the Lord, He will not turn them away.
The Lord refuses to go with the people
1 And the LORD said unto Moses, 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:
2 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:
3 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.
4 And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.
5 For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.
6 And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.
The tabernacle is removed out of the camp
7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.
9 And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.
10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
Moses desires to see the glory of God
12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
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God truly honors humility because it honors Him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It seems to clear the pathway to mercy in midst the stifling oppression the enemy of our souls wants to use to keep us from submitting to God. It offers us the freedom to pursue the Lord and touch the hem of His garment where we find the deliverance, healing or any such thing we desire of Him.
Thank you Brother Garrett so true, we have to trust in the Lords ways not our own because his ways are perfect.
Beautiful words Bro Garrett. I used to think I needed a certain amount of stubbornness to make it in this world but not any longer. We can hang on to what we think is right all we want but the Lord will not have a part in it. The Lords opinion is all that matters.
How wonderful, a profoundly interesting dichotomy........the best choice is so obvious yet some of the Hebrews blindly pursued their self defeating pride.