SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- God instructs Moses to lead the remaining Israelites into a land that he had previously promised would be theirs. However, because of their sin, God was going to temporarily withdraw his presence from the Israelites (he had previously assured them, in Exodus 23:21, that his presence would provide them strength). This caused the Israelites great grief.
- However, God was not completely disconnected from the Israelites. He allowed Moses to serve as a liaison of sorts between God and the Israelites.
- After another conversation with Moses, God decides to allow his presence to once again dwell with the Israelites.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- God loves us and craves relationship with us. Due to the Israelites' sin, God had to withdraw his presence from them, but even then he used Moses as a channel through which people could connect with him.
- Moses effectively served as a mediator between God and his people, which foreshadowed Jesus eventually becoming the bridge between us and God (see John 14:6).
- This chapter ends with God once again dwelling among the Israelites. This was written before Jesus came to earth, so they were dependent on Moses to be the "voice" of God, and each person was responsible for the consequences of their own sin. Because Jesus offers us life in God, and served as the ultimate sacrifice to take the place of our sin, we can connect with God in a more powerful way than the Israelites were able to.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- You are loved, and God craves a relationship with you. Do you live life as though God loves you? Or do you find yourself harboring bitterness or other unhealthy emotions? Has a relationship with another person -- maybe a family member or an authority figure -- caused you to feel unloveable? If you have trouble feeling loved by God, ask him to take away the barriers you're experiencing. He wants you to live in the fullness of the life he offers.