Exodus Bible Study

Closer Leads to Bolder

I would consider myself an introvert. This means that I like putting my energy more towards the inner self, ideas, and concepts.  I get energy from and form decision in a quiet space, usually alone.  I often like to figure out a solution on my own, with my own knowledge and strength. I prefer that independence.

However, my dear friend leans slightly more towards the extraverted side.  She, to my sometimes closed off self, can read between the lines of what I say, or see on my face what is in my heart, and ask the tough questions.  She draws me out of my self and graciously coaxes me to be vulnerable.  She’s not afraid to handle to ugly, the hurt, and the doubt in my heart. She wants to know because she loves and cares for me.

We’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs in life together.  We’ve been there to witness each others successes, failures, celebrations and tragedies. Life is ugly sometimes, and fortunately, we have found great comfort and strength in knowing that we can reach out to the other with it all. We both have dreams to fulfill and we can pray for each other and keep each other accountable to follow where God would lead us. I know she has my back and I have hers as we try to be bold and live out our purposes on this earth.

Friendships like that are hard to find.  I am so grateful that I have her in my life.

Like my friendship, we see Moses’ close relationship with God in the coming chapters. They have this beautiful exchange that shows a friendship so true, that they can ask bold things of each other.  God can call Moses to do great things, and Moses can ask God to do even mightier things to help him through it.

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S – Scripture: Exodus 33-35

  • 33:11 – “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”

Moses’ first request: “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” (v.13)

“The LORD replied, ‘I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest–everything will be fine for you.'” (v.14)


Moses’ response: “How will anyone know that you look favorably on me–on me and on your people–if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” (v.16)

“The LORD replied to Moses, ‘I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.'” (v.17)


Moses’ final petition: “Then show me your glorious presence.” (v.18)

“The LORD replied, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.’ The LORD continued, ‘Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.'” (v. 19-23)

  • 34:5-7 – “Then the LORD came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, ‘Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty.'”
  • 34:29 – “When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the LORD.”
  • 35:29 – “So the people of Israel–every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the LORD had given them through Moses–brought their gifts and gave them freely to the LORD.”

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O – Observation:

  • Moses had an intimate relationship with the Lord. They spoke face to face, like friends. God said that he knew Moses by name, how beautiful!
  • God knew exactly what Moses was asking when he said, “who will go with us?” There was more to the question. I love God’s response: that he would be the one going with him, that everything would be okay, and that Moses would have rest. Moses’ heart must have needed to hear that.
  • Moses must have needed more reassurance that God was going to go with them. He didn’t want to leave if God wasn’t going to go too.
  • Moses asked bold things of the Lord: to see his glorious presence.
    • When we know God, we know we can ask big and bold things, and he will answer.
  • God allows Moses to see the back of his glorious presence as he passed by.  He hid Moses in a crevice in the rock with his hand until he it was safe for him to look.
  • As God passes, he calls out his name, “Yahweh.” What an amazing thing to have been able to witness! I can’t even imagine!
  • When Moses finally came down from the mountain after 40 days and nights, his face had become radiant as he spoke to the Lord.
  • The supplies needed to build the Tabernacle with all of it’s accessories, including the priest’s garments, were given freely and eagerly as an offering from the people.  Everything that was needed, was provided.

A – Application:

I love this exchange between Moses and God.

What it says about Moses:

  • He was a friend of God and was favored by him. He knew God intimately because he had spent time with him.
  • Moses longed to understand God and his ways.  He want to know him fully so that he could trust him more.
  • He needed to know that God was going to go with him as he led millions of people to the Promised Land.  Here was a man that knew that he couldn’t do any of what God asked for on his own.  Here was a desperate soul, pleading for assurance that he wouldn’t be alone on his journey.  He wasn’t going to take a step without God going with him.
  • Revealing the glory of God to the world, through himself and the Israelites, was of the highest importance to Moses.  He knew that they were an imperfect and forgetful group, but they were chosen by God, to show the world who the Sovereign and Everlasting King was.
  • Moses wasn’t finished, he asked if he could see God’s presence.  Maybe he needed a tangible reassurance of who God was and is.  This was a bold request, but one done only because he knew God.
  • As he came down the mountain after being in God’s presence, his face glowed.  Being with God so intimately showed on his face!

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What it says about God:

  • He hears the words we are speaking, but knows what we are really asking and needing.  He knows our heart and motives better than we do. Based on God’s first response, I gather that Moses was overwhelmed and possibly tired. There may also have been a sliver of doubt there. Not only did God promise to be the one to go with Moses and the people, but also that everything would be fine and that he would be able to rest.
  • God loves and favors his children.  He wants to bless and protect them. He knows us each by name. I am so comforted by that!
  • He will answer bold prayers when we ask, though often in his own way.
    • What if Moses had never asked? He would have missed out on an amazing blessing. Even a glimpse of God’s Presence is so much more that I could hope or imagine! I love too that God placed his hand on Moses as he passed by.  What an amazing feeling that must have been! God can and will reveal himself in tangible ways when we need him to and it’s okay to ask.
  • It’s too good not to repeat: “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty.”
    • God is all of these things and more.  He is all we need at exactly the time we need it.  He is so good.

Lessons of how God responds:

  • God can answer, “yes” for what we ask, but it can also involve more or something we hadn’t thought that we needed.  He sees the bigger picture of how answering our requests will affect us and he knows what we really need.  Typically, we need the know that everything will be okay and that we can have peace in him.
  • Sometimes it’s with a word, a vision or sign, or a touch that God answers. Often, God answers prayer through other people’s words and actions.  I’ve experienced all of them at different times, and the best way I can describe how it felt was how I think GRACE really feels. In times of hurting, it was a tender and gentle grace.  Other times when God was calling me to action, it was a fierce and bold excitement, knowing that God was with me and his grace made it so that I didn’t have to be perfect, just willing.

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Lessons on how to pray and do life:

  • When we KNOW God, we can pray BOLDLY to him.  The more I study God’s character in the Bible as well as speak to him and experience him throughout my life, the more in tune I am with what his purpose is for my life. As I allow him into my heart, I notice more that my desires begin to intertwine with his.  I see steps of faith that I need to take, people I need to encourage, and opportunities to serve more often because my will is growing deeper into his. I begin praying more crazy and bold prayers because I know God wants his glory shared on earth and I have finally come to a place where I am 100% willing to go out and do anything possible for that to happen.
  • He knows our hearts, even when our words can’t describe exactly what we need.  Knowing this allows us to just come to him in surrender.  Our prayers don’t have to be clean and perfect, they just need to happen.
  • When we spend time with God, it changes us.  We become more and more like a light that breaks through the darkness of this world.  People do recognize something different when we have God shining through us.
  • When we spend time with God, our faith grows and God can ask us to do even greater and bolder things for him.  We have built up a secure trust and hope in him, that we respond in obedience.  In this way, we bless others and can be blessed in the process. This cycle can produce an amazing story that glorifies God for generations.  We never know how the actions God calls us to will affect eternity.  It’s crazy to think!

Action:

What bold prayer have you given up on? You, and maybe many others need you to keep praying that bold prayer!

I encourage you to start praying that again today and let God speak truth to you. I’d love to hear how he answers you!

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

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P – Prayer:

God, thank you for loving us so much that you want to have an intimate relationship with each of us.  You know us all by name and long to bless and protect us.  There are so many prayers out there that have been given up on.  There are desires that are buried deep because we don’t think they are possible anymore.  God, I pray that, as we’ve learned today, you answer those BIG and BOLD prayers. It’s in your timing and your way, but you do it.  Grow us in those times of waiting in order to prepare us for exactly what those desires will have us do and be.  You are so good and you do such amazing and miraculous things.  Amen.

 

Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #40 - Closer Leads to Bolder

2 thoughts on “Closer Leads to Bolder

  1. So beautiful and timely. He knows what we want, but even better, He knows what we need and the two are aligned in spending time in the secret place with Him.
    Thank you for this wonderful reminder.
    Crackedpots <

    Like

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