The Priority of His Presence

by David and Stephen Olford

David and Stephen OlfordText: "And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest" (Ex. 33:14).

Thought: Moses, the servant of the Lord, was up against it. His task of leading the people of God through the wilderness into Canaan was an onerous one, at best, but at this point in the journeyings he was being confronted with rebellion, idolatry, and sin in the camp of Israel. Before he could possibly continue with his solemn and serious responsibilities he must be assured of the presence and blessing of Almighty God. So he comes before Jehovah God and says, "If I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight" (v. 13). God's reply to this impassioned appeal is one of the glorious promises of the Bible. Here was:

The Commendation of the Divine Presence. "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest" (v. 14). In this commendation we have the intimacy of His fellowship, the radiance of His face and the sufficiency of His favor. All this and more is conveyed by these words. No Christian can know progress in his spiritual life if there is conflict and frustration, but, thank God, we can know not only rest from the curse of sin but rest from the conflict of self.

The Confirmation of the Divine Presence. "And he said unto him . . . wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us?"(vv. 15-16). The confirmation of the divine presence was to be evidenced by a life of separation and dedication. Show me a man who is separated and totally abandoned toward God and I will show you one who practices the presence of Christ, and one who knows what is "that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

The Compensation of the Divine Presence. "And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory"(v. 18). No one can walk with God and feel the power of His nearness without an insatiable longing to see more and more of His glory. How desperately we need the goodness and the grace of God for our justification, sanctification and glorification. Where sin abounds in our lives there God's goodness and grace must superabound, if we are going to live in the light of the glory of God. Not to know this glorious Presence is to be impoverished and unblest. This is why Moses said, "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence"(v. 15).

Thrust: "When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word what a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey."

David Olford makes possible the continuation of this column by editing material
from his father's writings. Through his efforts, Points to Ponder continues
to bless, encourage, and challenge readers.

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
Disciple Banner Ad