The Promise of God's Presence - Exodus 33

The Promise of God's Presence

Exodus 33:1-23

The missionary couple and their children were newcomers to the mission field.  The country of their calling was extremely poor, as it had been devastated by war some years earlier.  Evidence of tremendous poverty was visible everywhere.

When they moved into their rented house with their belongings, they were warmly welcomed by a fellow missionary, who lived just around the corner.  He had lived there with his family for about two years, so he was acquainted with the neighborhood.  After expressing his joy at their arrival, he said, "You can expect some thieves to come into your house sometime during the first week."  He also assured them that the thieves were not violent, so there was no need to be alarmed.  They were just poor, unfortunate people, who were trying to get by without hurting anyone.

That night when they went to bed, both husband and wife slept with both ears and one eye open.  At the slightest sound the wife would ask her spouse, "Did you hear that?"  Could it be a thief?  The man of the house would investigate only to find no uninvited visitors.  The first night was a restless night indeed.

The next night was a repeat of the first night.  The tired couple retired.  Unidentifiable noises were heard.  Was a thief in the house?  The lights were turned on, but no one was found.  It wound up being another restless night.

The missionaries were very tired, and worn out as they faced a day of language study, a weary task in itself.  They got through the day, and once again went to bed, but not to sleep.  They almost wished that a promised friendly thief would show up.  Minutes and hours ticked by, as they waited and watched.  Again no thief appeared.  The couple were exhausted.

On the fourth morning the husband went into his study early to prepare for language study.  A tired missionary noticed a plaque, which he had hung on the wall the day that they had moved into the house. 

The plaque had a Bible verse on it, which read, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."  Exodus 33:14.  The bushed missionary bowed his head, and prayed, "Lord, I've been standing watch during the last three nights.  I'm tired.  Now I'm trusting You to take over.  You can watch for the thieves."  That marked the end of sleepless nights.  Rest at last!  During their missionary service no thieves ever entered their house.

 

Heavenly Father, how comforting and assuring it is to know that You are with us!  You neither slumber nor sleep.  We find our rest in You.  Thank You for Your presence.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

What is the LORD Like? - Exodus 34

 
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Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
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