God Goes With Us

( [email protected] ) Feb 28, 2004 12:42 PM EST

MOVING is often difficult for us, as it means going into the unknown. To go forward means risking our security and comfort, sometimes risking our lives. [In Exodus 33,] Moses has been told it is time for the Israelites to move; they have been near to Mount Sinai for a year, and some are obviously getting settled. God asks Moses to go forward to the Promised Land (33:1). If the people are to become what God wants, they cannot stay where they are: to become God's people they have to change and to move.

Moses is anxious about moving and about who will help him in the leadership. ... God's reply to Moses is not to give him a map, or even at this stage to offer human resources. God says, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest" (Exodus 33:14, NRSV). God reminds Moses that God is ever present and ever willing to help. God led the Israelites out of Egypt, delivered them from death, provided them with food in the wilderness; God was with them at Sinai and will not leave them or forsake them.

We might not know what lies ahead, but we know who is there to meet us in each eventuality. We are not left as orphans; we are not left alone: our God goes with us at all times.