Sunday, April 14, 2013

An Option

Sunday school this morning was about Exodus 33.  I was so challenged by verses 1-3 and 12-16.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ I will send an angel before you and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, and I might destroy you on the way.”... Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”
God told Moses that He was sending an angel before them to in a sense "fix all of their problems".  But, God wouldn't be there.  This is staggering to me!  God sometimes will give us the option of "an easy way out" that is not His best.  It comes down to this: when we are facing a trial, are we going to take the "easy way" without God, or are we going to hold firmly to Him and not compromise our relationship with Him no matter what pressure may be around us?  By God's grace, may we "mourn" before the Lord when we are faced with the option of the "easy way" and may we hold fast to the Lord knowing that His way is always best.  We can't go on in life without Him.  We can't pretend that everything will be fine.  Sure, the angel would have been able to drive their enemies out and things would have felt fine and dandy for a little while, but what happens after that?  Is all well when everything is smooth and easy, but without God?  No!  We need Him to be central in absolutely everything.  It doesn't matter how hot the fire gets or how hard a trial may be, if God is at the center of it all, we can say, "it is well with my soul".

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