A friend of mine, Greg LaFazia, wrote a post this morning that made me think… (See “Do YOU Realize?“) What do I really want from God? Do I want His miracles, signs and wonders? (Yes!) Or do I want something more? (Absolutely!)
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
(Psalm 103:7 NKJV)
The children of Israel followed Moses as he led them out of bondage in Egypt. During that time, they saw many miracles from God… They saw the ten plagues God sent to Egypt (Exodus 7-12)… They saw the pillar of cloud by day, and the fire by night, which God placed between them and Pharaoh and his soldiers, who pursued them to kill and capture them. They saw the parting of the Red Sea, and they watched as it closed on their Egyptian tormentors, and killed them (Exodus 14)… They ate manna from heaven, and when they complained (yes, they grew tired of eating of this heavenly bread), God sent them quail (Exodus 16)… When they were thirsty, God told Moses to strike a rock, and water gushed forth from it (Exodus 17)… God did all of these things, and so much more, but it seemed as though His miracles were never enough. The people were never satisfied. They only wanted more miracles.
The people didn’t seem to care about the One who performed all of these mighty acts on their behalf. They felt entitled to the miracles. They had no desire to know their Benefactor. Yet, God loved these people and He wanted a relationship with them…
3 Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 Now if you will obey Me and keep My covenant, you will be My own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to Me. 6 And you will be My kingdom of priests, My holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.” (Exodus 19:3-6 NLT)
He set boundaries around His holy mountain, forbidding the people from even touching it, but He wanted to speak to the children of Israel. He loved them, as He loves us. Yet, the people didn’t want to hear Him…
18 When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.
19 And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”
20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of Him will keep you from sinning!” (Exodus 20:18-20 NLT)
Did their fear of Him keep them from sinning? You be the judge. When Moses went up on the mountain to receive God’s commands, did the people pray and seek God’s face? No. They talked among themselves, and when they thought Moses was away too long with God, they approached his brother, Aaron, and convinced him to make a new god to lead them (Exodus 32)… After all of the miracles, signs and wonders they had witnessed, clearly, the miracles just weren’t enough for the people. And then there was Moses…
From the time he first saw the Lord in the midst of the burning bush, he was drawn to Him. Yes, it was awesome seeing the burning bush, but Moses had discovered the One who was truly awesome. Like the people of Israel, Moses feared the Lord, but his fear was different than their fear. For, in their fear, the people of Israel didn’t want to come near the Lord, nor even hear His voice, which led them to sin against God, and worship another, less fearsome god. Yet in his fear, Moses depended on God (Exodus 3-4)…
Read the book of Exodus, and you will see how totally Moses depended on the Lord for everything. You will see how he constantly sought God and listened and obeyed Him. Was Moses perfect? Of course not, but he was a man who loved God so much that he came to know His ways.
When you love someone, you learn about them. You learn their likes and their dislikes. You learn what things bring joy to the person you love, and what things hurt the person you love. When your loved one gives you a glance, without saying a word, you know what they’re thinking, because you’re intimate with this person. You care about this person, and because you care, you want to please him/her. This is the relationship Moses had with God. Look at this intimate exchange between Moses and God…
12 One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But You haven’t told me whom You will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ 13 If it is true that You look favorably on me, let me know Your ways so I may understand You more fully and continue to enjoy Your favor. And remember that this nation is Your very own people.”
14 The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”
15 Then Moses said, “If You don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that You look favorably on me—on me and on Your people—if You don’t go with us? For Your presence among us sets Your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
17 The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
18 Moses responded, “Then show me Your glorious presence.”
19 The Lord replied, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will call out My name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. 20 But you may not look directly at My face, for no one may see Me and live.”21 The Lord continued, “Look, stand near Me on this rock. 22 As My glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove My hand and let you see Me from behind. But My face will not be seen.” (Exodus 33:12-23 NLT)
Beloved, are God’s miracles enough for you? Or do you want to know Him? As I read my friend, Greg’s post this morning, I realized how far short of His glory I fall. I realized that for too long, I sought God’s mighty works, without seeking Him. But, I declare this day that His miracles are not enough for me! Like Moses, I want to know His ways, just as I know my husband’s ways. I want to know Him even as He knows me. And like Moses, I cry out, “I pray Thee, Lord, show me your glory!”
Cheryl A. Showers