. . . "If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For 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?"Moses tells the Lord, in essence, that he and the people will not go until the Lord goes with them. He is willing to wait for the Lord's presence rather than leave without it.
Am I willing to do that in my life? The Israelites knew that the Lord was calling them to go to Canaan, but Moses did not want to go without the Lord's presence among them. Sometimes I face decisions that are not always clear. Sometimes, especially if they are not specifically addressed in Scripture, I must just make the best decision that I can and listen/watch carefully for clues along the way as to if it is God's will. Other times, I think that God wants me to wait until He makes it clear--to delay my decision until I know that He goes before me.
The whole of the Israelites' journey was waiting, even before they were judged for their lack of faith. The end of Exodus (Exodus 40: 34-38) states:
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.The people could not leave until the Lord moved. It might be one day, it might be two weeks. They simply had to wait for the cloud to depart. They couldn't hurry it up or delay it. Their focus was on waiting for the Lord and watching what He was doing. Thankfully, believers have the Holy Spirit within them to guide and direct. However, I know that many times I want to run ahead of the Holy Spirit's leading, or stay in a situation longer than I should because it's comfortable. Through all of these stories of waiting, I think I am starting to see that God is always wanting me to look toward Him, following Him when He leads, and staying put when He doesn't. I want my heart to say, like Moses, "If your presence will not go with me, do not bring [me] up from here." In that waiting will God get glory and will the world see that I and my fellow believers are "distinct . . . from every other people on the earth".