The Presence: Promise & Purpose
God makes promises to reveal His purpose. To us mortal and finite beings, deciphering his purpose is nearly impossible. His promises are difficult to grasp or comprehend. Cue the presence. It is His presence (the essence of God) that is our bridge facilitating our understanding of an infinite God and us, His finite flesh creation. God’s presence is everywhere and it is experienced by the person who God allows to. Originally God built i.e. designed and made man to contain his presence and essence i.e. the ark. When Man (Adam) failed, there was need for symbolic objects to remind man and indicate the abiding presence of God amongst his chosen people. God thus instructed Moses to commission the building of the ark to fulfill this purpose.
Prior to Moses building the ark of the covenant; Noah had built an ark for the preservation of men at The Flood. Noah’s ark typified God’s presence in the midst of chaos, his saving grace and purpose of restoration. After the birth of Moses when his mother Jochebed could no longer hide him, she placed him in a basket of bulrushes with its inside painted with tar. This basket symbolized an ark. It also reflected her surrender of her future to the presence of God. The presence of God in that “ark” drove it to the right place for Moses to be discovered by Pharaoh's sister As Moses lay in the ark for protection, it was significant to note that God ultimately wanted the ark (symbolic of his presence) in Moses.
When Israel was liberated from Egyptian slavery, they trekked through the dessert to the Promised Land. During that time, the ark of the covenant with them was symbolic of the presence of God. So, God has always desired his presence to be with man and the restoration of man’s ability to access his presence. To achieve that.
1. He prepares you
2. Reveals His presence
3. Reveals His promise
4. Draws for you a picture of His purpose
5. Causes you to access His presence
6. Reveals deeper mysteries of His presence
7. Walks with you as He instructs you
God took Moses through this “7-Step Plan” to prepare and equip him. Despite Moses’ flaws and handicaps God used him as a deliverer of his people. God promised Moses His presence as he went before Pharaoh and also as he led the Israelites through the dessert. The promise of God’s presence does not confer the presence per se. It is only possessed through faith, spiritual warfare, progressive obedience and understanding the process of divine preparation. Manifestation of the presence can also be hindered by our own wrong perceptions and wrong attitudes of sin, lack of faith and having a reprobate mind.
At the height of his walk with God and with confirmation of divine favor on his life, Moses requests to see God’s glory i.e. greater insight or access to the presence of God. God promises to answer Moses affirmatively and assures him importantly that ultimately His presence will bring him to rest. It is imperative to note that Moses was dissatisfied with angelic guidance or whatever level of fellowship he had enjoyed with God to that point. He desired more, asked for more, pressed for more and received what he asked for.
Exodus 33 closes with the narrative of the full revelation made by God to Moses. The narrative informs us of key elements to gain access to the presence and the benefits that accrue from being granted access to the presence. These include the following:
1. Deeper knowledge of God
3. Divine transformation
4. Fear upon your foes
5. Grace in warfare-warfare surrounds the promise
6. Distinguishing features
7. Effective intercession
8. Revelation-to defy established law
9. Deeper revelation of the person of Jesus
10. The hand of God-protection
11. Mysteries unfolded
12. Divine peace-rest