READ: Exodus 34-35
THINK: If God is everywhere all the time, what does it mean to be in His presence? And how can being in the presence of the almighty God affect the lives of frail humans? Essentially, being in God’s presence means recognizing His nearness and seeing Him for who He is. It means having God’s attention because you’ve given Him yours. It’s being aware of what God is doing and willingly participating in His purposes. In this lifetime, you may not physically see God as Moses did. But you can spend time with Him by reading His Word and interacting with Him in prayer. And when you worship Him, He’s there to receive your praise. The more time you spend in God’s presence, the more you learn to discern His voice and recognize His activity. The best part is that God’s presence is available at all times and in all places, regardless of what you’re going through. He’s simply waiting for you to call on Him as Moses did.
RESPOND: What things did God proclaim about himself when He passed in front of Moses, and why did He describe himself in these ways? (See 34:6-7 note.) What conditions did Moses need to observe in order to lay hold of God’s promises to lead the Israelites and defeat their enemies (34:10-14ff)? Why did God warn Moses against making alliances with the nations around them or tolerating any form of idolatry (i.e., worshiping false “gods” or other things in place of the one true God)? Why do you think the people were afraid when Moses returned to the Israelite camp with his face glowing from being in God’s presence? How can spending time in God’s presence change a person? In what way can one’s children and family pay a price for a person’s sin? (See 34:7 note.) Where did the materials and supplies for the tabernacle come from and how were these things to be gathered (35:4-5)? Who could participate in this project and how could they contribute to it (35:20-21)? (See 35:1 to 40:38 note.)
PRAY: Praise God for His compassion, grace, justice, faithfulness, patience and forgiveness. Thank Him for His powerful and personal presence.
ACT: As you did yesterday, go through today with a constant awareness of God’s presence. Talk to Him as a friend at every opportunity. Allow His presence to influence your attitudes and actions and to inspire your faith.