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Exodus chapter 33 has always been a favorite of mine. It speaks of the children of Israel in the wilderness freshly delivered from Egypt, and they have already created the golden calf and began to worship it as the god who delivered them. Idolatry in progress, even as Moses was receiving the ten commandments. Even so chapter 33 begins with God re-affirming His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to bring their seed into the promise land. Yes, there were dire consequences for Israel's idolatry, but God maintained his promise and he did not disinherit Israel.

YET, a few books over in Numbers when God tells Moses to send people to spy out the promise land, the majority of the spies come back with words of doubt and fear. They saw themselves as grasshoppers compared to the inhabitants of the promise land and they did not believe that they could take the land. THIS is when God said that the generation would not enter into his promise!


It's not your lack of faith in God, it's your lack of faith in YOURSELF that will keep you from obtaining what God has for you! WHY? Because God knows who He is! He wants you to know who YOU are!

Many people are able to obtain God's promises, simply by believing they can! God's promises do not become void, He cannot lie. If you can't receive it, He will give it to your children!

So, what is it that is truly at stake here? If you can actually be in disobedience to God and STILL obtain His promise to you, then what is the true consequence of willful sin and stubbornness?

Let's look at Exodus 33: 1-3

The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. BUT I WILL NOT TRAVEL AMONG YOU, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.”


Now some may not even blink an eye at the thought of losing the close presence and intimacy with God. These are those who prefer the creation over the creator, the promises over the promise giver. They only want the stuff! But this is why Exodus 33:15-16 is so significant:

Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 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.”

You can be gifted, and void of God's presence. You can have great accomplishments and plenty of material things and still be void of God's presence. Having gifts/talents, accomplishments, and material things are signs of affluence in the world, but the true sign of God's favor IS HIS PRESENCE. Which one is your number one priority?


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