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stood without. For us, there is no cloudy pillar to look upon, but we have the un failing word that our Mediator stands now before God on our behalf. W e are called upon to believe this, even though we cannot see, for we walk by faith and not by sight. Let us not fall into the error o f sup posing that there was some special virtue about Moses which brought him the high and holy privileges which were his. He was a man o f like passions with ourselves, and the virtues which enabled him to ap proach God were simply an unfaltering trust in God and a heart that was bent on pleasing God. With these two simple vir tues, any one may have the same close fel lowship with God that Moses enjoyed. Seeing the cloud at the door o f the tab ernacle and knowing that Moses was in side caused the people to worship, “every -man in his tent door” (v. 10). The sight was awesome, and the people were com pelled to believe that God was in their midst. There are many today who are waiting in vain for some visible sign be fore they will believe that God is with the men o f His choice, but we must remember that we are living in the days when the walk of the believer is by faith. When thus shut in, “the Lord talked with Moses” (v. 9 ). Just how this was done or with what voice God spoke we need not inquire. It may have been by a vision, or by an audible voice, or by un spoken words coming to the consciousness of Moses. However it was, we know that God made Himself known in such a way that the intercourse could be repeated and thus meet the needs o f the people. We are sometimes asked today, “How does your God speak to you? With what words does His message come to you?” and so on. The path o f wisdom is not to inquire too deeply as to the “how,” but to be oc cupied with the “ what” and the “ why.” All who open the Bible with the prayer, “ Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out o f thy law,” and who will do as the Lord directs, will hear the voice of the Lord saying, “ This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isa. 30:21; cf. John 7:17). III. T h e P resence of th e L ord (12-16). The request for the presence o f the Lord was made by Moses because he felt his own insufficiency and powerlessness to lead forth that great multitude of the people of Israel. He pleaded for it, using two powerful reasons: “ That I may know thee” and “that I may find grace in thy sight.” Both o f these reasons are wholly unselfish when viewed in the light o f the whole lesson. He asked for the Lord’s presence in order that the service to which he was called might be rendered in a fash ion pleasing unto the One who had called him. The Lord is ever ready to bestow all necessary equipment for carrying on the work to which He calls. Moses received the wonderful promise o f the Lord’s companionship, and in that, and because o f it, he found rest. This ex perience is needed by many a Christian worker today. W e know much of the Lord’s Word, but we are unsatisfied, and we miss the rest which should be ours. Rest comes only in the presence of the Lord, never apart from it. The words of our Lord Jesus Christ remind us o f this truth: “ Come unto me, and I will give you rest.” Not until, by faith, we truly
aration required in the Christian (c f. 2 Cor. 6:17, 18; Jas. 4 :4 ; 1 John 2 :1 5 )? Golden Text Illustration At the corner of--two busy thorough fares, where the traffic was noisiest, the writer watched a man who was working quietly at the foot o f a telephone pole; he seemed to know by instinct what was wanted by his mate, who was at work away up at the top o f the pole; first one tool, then another, or a bit of wire, would be sent up, and the two were working to gether in such harmony that I looked more carefully and saw that the man on the sidewalk had clamped on his head what looked like a small telephone ap paratus ; one ear could hear the sounds around him, but the other was deaf to them, and was listening all the time to the voice from above. Being in constant com munication, two men could work together in wonderful unity; and then I realized anew the need for us as Christians to be ever listening for the voice from above. — H omera H odgson . The Tent of Meeting E xodus 33:7-l7 Memory Verse: “ Oh, come, let us wor ship and bow down; let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker” (Psa. 95:6). Approach: For almost a year, the chil dren of Israel camped at the foot o f Mount Sinai. They were a city o f people, and God planned the way this city should be built. L e s s o n S t o r y : wished might come and worship God. It was placed at the edge of the camp city. Here Moses went to meet with God and to learn His will for His people. Here the people might go to ask forgiveness for sins, or to offer prayers o f thanksgiving. God planned this place o f worship. Today we have churches in which to worship God. The pastor is the leader o f the people. Here the people may go for prayer and praise. It is good to meet to gether with others who have come for the same purpose. It is good to have a time and a place set apart for worship, but we must remember, too, that God is every where, and He can be worshiped at all times and in all places. W e do not have to go into a church or wait until Sunday in order to worship God. W e may worship Him in our homes, at school, wherever we are, whenever we feel the need to worship Him. The children o f Israel were now ready to go on with their journey through the wilderness. God had been with them this far. Moses wanted to be sure that H e would continue to guide them. He prayed to God about this. All the people stood reverently in the doors o f their tents wait ing while Moses communed with God. God heard the prayer and said, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” And likewise, if we know that God is with us, we know that we need to fear nothing. O 'V lS t O ' It was most impor tant that the people remember t h e G o d who had b r o u g h t them out o f Egypt, and who was guiding them t h r o u g h the wilderness. A “t e n t o f meeting” was fix ed by Moses, where t h e p e o p l e w h o
draw near to Him do we ever truly enter into rest. This rest is found not in merely knowing the W ord o f God, but in fellow ship with the Person o f whom that Word speaks. The heart purpose o f Moses was that the whole world might know that Israel was the Lord’s special people, and how could this be shown unless the Lord went with them? I f the Lord accompanied them, then surely they would be what He desired them to be, a separated people, distinct from all others upon the earth. The thing that Moses desired appears to be the very thing against which the church rebels today. W e have come to a time when we do not care to be a separated people, and we are sometimes possessed with a spirit o f resentment, not to say shame, when it is discovered that we do indeed belong to God. W e shall never be a blessing to the world by being conformed to it. Only as we stand aloof from it, free from all its ways, can we hope to fulfill our purpose toward it. W e are to emulate the example of Moses and plead with the Lord to so make Himself known among us that all the earth shall know we are His people. Lesson Questions Vs. 7, 8. What occurred in the camp when Moses was up in the mount (cf. Ex. 32:1-4? Why w a s t h e tabernacle “pitched . . . afar off from the camp” ? When law had been broken, how did grace enter in, in this lesson? May any indi vidual find access to God, if he desires it, regardless o f the sins o f his nation? How was Moses, as a mediator, a type o f Christ? Vs. 9-11. What did the cloudy pillar do for Moses? for the people? How does God communicate His will to His people today ? Vs. 12-16. What was the burden o f Mo ses’ petition? Was his request a selfish one? What gracious promise did the Lord give? What did the presence of the Lord with His people augur? Is sep A t Close of Day The camel at the close of day Kneels down upon the sandy plain To have his burden lifted off And rest to gain. My soul, thou too shouldst to thy knees When daylight dratweth to a close, And let thy Master lift thy load And grant repose. When thou hast thanked thy God For every blessing sent, What time will then remain For murmurs or lament? — S elected .
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