Jesus – the Face of God
Sunday, August 7, 2022
Scripture: Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus, the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
Moses said to the LORD, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “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?” And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:7–17).
Main Point: God wants to reveal Himself to you, have a personal relationship with you, and bless you abundantly.
I. God’s presence is everywhere. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-10).
“Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth?” (Jeremiah 23:24).
II. God’s presence can be stifled (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). “When the people heard this disastrous word, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do with you’” (Exodus 33:4-5).
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
III. We must seek God’s presence. “And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp” (Exodus 33:7).
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:7–8).
IV. God inhabits the worship and praises of His people. “And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door” (Exodus 33:10).
V. God’s presence is personal (John 16:13-14). “Thus, the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11).
“I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD” (Numbers 12:6–8).
VI. Now God’s Spirit indwells His people. “And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:9).
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).
VII. Differences exist between God’s indwelling presence and manifest presence. “And he said to him, “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?” (Exodus 33:15-16).
Challenge: Do you seek God’s presence, or do you stifle God’s presence?
Invitation: Here is a prayer you can pray to seek God’s manifest presence: “Dear Father in Heaven, Like Moses I have been hiding from Your Presence. Today, I want to stop running from You and run to Your arms of love. I need Your help. I need Your healing. I can’t live without You. Forgive me for causing you to grieve, Holy Spirit. I lay aside my excuses for not serving You and I welcome Your Presence in my life. Take control of my life again and show me Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”