Show Me the Way

Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up 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 also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Exodus 33:12-19)

There’s always room for worry. No matter how obvious God is, no matter how clearly God is working, human beings are still going to want more reassurance. Moses had been there for each of the ten plagues. He’d been there through the Red Sea. He’d gotten the ten commandments. He’d been leading the people for quite some while and even got to talk to God face to face on a regular basis. And yet, with all of that, he felt isolated and wondered who would be going with them to the Promised Land, and he wondered if he really knows for sure where they would be going and what they would be doing.

God did not berate Moses, did not criticize him, did not even ask him a pointed question. Instead, God quickly reassured Moses and told him—again—that he would be with him. Moses, who saw God in the burning bush, on Mt. Sinai, and even in the tent of meeting where he talked to God as a man might converse with a friend, then asked God if he could see his glory. As if everything up to then wasn’t glorious? Could he not discern God’s glory in the Exodus event, in the burning bush, in the plagues, in the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day? Every day, he picked up food—manna—from off the ground. How could he need more?

And yet, he did. As do we all, if we’re honest with ourselves. No matter how close we think we are to God, no matter how convinced we are by events that we can see the hand of God, when we keep on keeping on, it is very easy to start taking it all for granted. We need a bigger fix to just feel normal, to just know that God is still there. It is all too easy to get discouraged, no matter how many miracles are swirling around us. And God accommodated Moses. So don’t be afraid to let God know how you’re really feeling, the doubts and weariness you may be feeling. He knows anyhow and if Moses is any guide, God will be happy to do something about it.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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