How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:16
Word From Heaven
Evangelist Paul Rader had tried to preach to a banker in New York so many times. The banker always said he was too busy with religion. After some time, the banker overworked so much that he was carried to a hospital to recover and rest. One day, God instructed Paul that the banker wanted to speak again. He quickly hopped onto a train and rushed to the hospital.
When Rader arrived at the facility, he noticed the banker standing in the doorway. “Oh, Rader,” the banker said, “I’m so delighted to see you.” “I received your telegram,” Rader remarked.
“That’s impossible,” the banker said. “I wrote you a telegram pleading with you to come, but I tore it up. I did not send it.” “That could be,” Rader answered, “but your word came from Heaven.” Paul had followed the guidance of the Lord and brought good news to a man who was tired of living a sinful life. The man finally gave his life to Christ, and his heart was even more joyous.
Every time I meditate on the word guidance, I see the word dance at the end of the word. What we have with God is almost the illustration of two people who are dancing. When the two of them take the lead, nothing feels right. The movement does not fit the music, and everything is choppy and uncomfortable. When one person recognizes this and lets the other take the lead, both bodies move in rhythm with the music. In the same way, it is easier for a blind person to follow a guide dog than deal with a person shouting warnings and instructions with every step. God is our guide (Psalms 119:105).
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear not evil; for Thou art with me; (Psalms 23:4)
Moses understood this, and he knew the instructions were not enough if God was not there to guide them. He desperately wanted God to go with them to the promised land. In Exodus 33:14, God had already promised He would go with them. He had not given the impression that he would renege the words he promised. Yet, it is as if Moses was saying, “we want you to be with us even more than we want the promised land.” His bold plea accentuates the necessity of having the father’s presence in the life of a believer.
Without the Lord’s presence, life is futile. Today many people calculate the pleasure of God based on the material wealth they have garnered for themselves. But, Moses knew that it was God’s presence that could set them apart. Temporary success will fade away. Worldly things will all fade out of existence, but the word of the Lord will endure forever (1 Peter 1:25.) That job promotion, new car, this article mean very little if God is not involved in it. We can only make an eternal impact if we desire to have his presence with us at all times. Life is not a way of life or a program; it is a person – Jesus (John 5:39).
King James Version (KJV)
“For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.”
New International Version (NIV)
“How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“For how shall it be known that I have found favour in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.”
New American Bible (NASB)
“For how then can it be known that I have found favour 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 on the face of the earth?”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“For how shall it be known that I have found favour 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?”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“If you don’t go with us, who will ever know that I and my people have found favour with you, and that we are different from any other people upon the face of the earth?”