“For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight?” (Exodus 33:16a)
God had assured Moses in Exodus 33:12, “…Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.”
But Moses said to God (verse 13), “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight…”
It is not that Moses did not know God. (See the Burning Bush experience in Exodus 3:1-15, where God revealed Himself to Moses as “I AM THAT I AM” – I am Jehovah, the Self-existent One.) It is not that Moses did not understand God’s calling him to deliver His people from the Egyptian bondage, for he understood His calling. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt had taken place; Moses said to God, and now what? I need to know the way that I may know Thee.
The barriers of nature and of the stubbornness of the Israelites, and how to govern and guide these people to the Promised Land were a great problem to Moses. To be the leader, he had to be seen among the Israelites as God’s man; God had to sanction him before all. God did this when He talked face to face with Moses in the Tabernacle of the Congregation (verses 9-12), “and the people saw.” However, it was one thing for the people to know that Moses was God’s man; but Moses himself needed more from God than to know that he was saved and called to deliver God’s people. He said in verse 13, “…shew me now thy way, that I may know thee…”
The Apostle Paul prayed the same thing in Philippians 3:7-14. Paul prayed:
- (Verse 8 ) to “win Christ”
- (Verse 9) to “be found in Him”
- (Verse 10) “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”
- (Verse 11) “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
Paul had been saved (Acts 9:1-15), but Paul wanted to know Him by experience. Paul found out that it would be progressive to attain unto these things. Therefore, he determined to press (actively seek) for “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Moses was in this same frame of mind. He had been called to do a task that was humanly impossible by one man; to lead, on foot, two and a half million people to the Land of Canaan, as God would have it done. We have been called to walk in Holiness and Peace, to come to perfection in Christ; and it is humanly impossible to do this in your own strength.
Yes, you have to know that you are saved. You have to know that God has called you to His Service in His Kingdom. You may even have validation from God to the people that you are His Servant. But the servant himself must know God in an intimate way. The Greek word is ginōsko (to know by experience; even by union).
The answer that God gave Moses in Exodus was four-fold:
- (Verse 14a) “My presence shall go with thee.” This is a great promise. To know that God is constantly with you, leading you and empowering you in the task you have been called to perform. (See Psalms 121:1-6; Hebrews 13:5-6; Romans 8:31-39.) God was saying, “Moses, you cannot fail.”
- (Verse 14b) “…and I will give thee rest.” The rest that God gives is peace in the storm, knowing that He is God and He will do as He has promised. See Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God rewards faith.
- (Verse 16b) “…so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.” God’s Spirit within the believer causes him to seek to please God, and not his flesh. His motives and his goals will follow the “new man,” which is created in righteousness (Ephesians 4:24, 2 Corinthians 5:17), and not the “old man” (Ephesians 4:22). When you follow God in body, soul, and spirit, you will be separated from the attitude, action, and attire of this wicked world. When it is seen that you walk in the Light, the world will separate from you, for the light condemns their wickedness. You, as a Spirit-filled person, will be separated in Power from this world, because you have the power and desire to perform the Commandment of Love, which the world cannot do. The fact is, when God’s presence is with you, and when you have His Rest (Peace); it separates you from a world that knows not God nor His Peace.
- (Verse 18) Moses said, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” This God did for Moses in verses 19-23. Moses was placed in the clift of the rock and saw the hinder parts of the Glory of God. But now that Christ has come, the born-again people of God see the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (John 1:14-18; 2 Corinthians 4:6-7). This is what God’s people have been predestinated unto (see Romans 8:29-30; 9:23-24); even glorification, perfection.
God is actually conforming us to the image of Christ. He is bringing us to see His Glory (His Honor, His Perfection). And to this end, Christ prayed for us (John 17:21-26). Moses could only see the hinder parts. But after the Cross, we can see Him face to face in Christ by the Power of the Spirit of God.
Moses, I am going to be with you; I will give you rest (peace); I will separate you; and I will show you My glory.
Applied to us today, we have this in Christ as He lives in us, the born-again ones, by the Spirit of God. This is the answer to the question, “How do I know?” I know Him by experience, for He is with us.
You may need to know now the way to know Him. The answer is found in seeking God as Moses did and as Paul did. They wanted to know not only that He is God, but they wanted to know about Him; they wanted to know Him by experience. They wanted His constant fellowship, leadership, and wisdom. They wanted His Power, His Glory, active in their life. They wanted a union with Him, a oneness, an active daily communion with God.
To do this, you must seek God in body, soul, and spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20); you must:
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
You must be diligent in prayer, study of His Word, confession, determination to yield not to the flesh but to the Spirit on a daily, 24/7, basis. You must believe that God is, and diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6) in Faith, or in Christ (Galatians 2:20).