The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name." (Exodus 33:13-17, NIV).
Moses was a regular person, just like us. But God used him in mighty ways to show the world His ways and the desires of His heart. As Moses matured spiritually, as he learned more about the Lord, Yahweh, Moses wanted more. He couldn’t get enough of God. Moses asked God to know and continue to find favor with Him. What was God’s response? “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Rest? It’s surprising to see how much the Word of God talks about rest. But God does not mean simply taking a nap or retiring. When God speaks of rest, this is directly connected to the idea of Moses’ request to God: Favor. Moses was asking to always remain with God and never leave His presence. He wanted the grace of God to eliminate any possibility of being separated from Him ever again. To God, this is known as “rest.” The ultimate Rest is coming. Labor was instituted as a curse upon this world –a world that determined that following it’s own ways was better than following God’s ways. What is rest? It is the perfect restoration of all things as God intended. God promised to send His Presence with Moses, right up to the end, when Moses would enter God’s Rest. But that wasn’t enough for Moses. Moses wanted God to guarantee that His presence would be with him and Israel, to the very end. Moses was not thinking about his own interests alone; he was thinking about the desires of God’s heart and that the whole world might know Him. And the only way that the world could know Him was by distinguishing Moses and the people of Israel as different, holy, separate from the rest of the world. God’s rest is complete and total salvation.
Do we want to experience the rest of God? There is salvation for today and every day until we reach our journey’s end. God knows us all by name. God knows all things. But when God told Moses that He knew him by name, He wasn’t simply saying, “I know your name is ‘Moses’.” He was saying, “Moses, we are on a first-name basis. I am pleased with you and love to be with you too. I will allow you to really, really know Me.”
We can have rest, a small taste of what is yet to come, by seeking God’s Presence in our daily lives. But when we seek to know God, the knowledge of God drives us to make Him known to the whole world. Our hearts then cry, “Distinguish me and your people from everyone else. Let Your Kingdom, Your Power and Your Glory reign everywhere and forever.” Let’s all seek His Presence and His favor so that His Rest comes powerfully for us and through us for others. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you REST,” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).
Love in Jesus,