Exodus 33:1-7, 12-23
There was some right feeling left, and while Moses spoke to them it came to the front; but, alas, it was as fleeting as the early dew.
As if the Lord knew not how to shew mercy to impenitent sinners.
This is always a preliminary to mercy. Pride must strip, self-righteousness must throw off her mantle, and carnal security pull off its tinkling jewellery.
They were not worthy to have the residence of the Lord in the centre of the encampment. The Lord did not utterly leave them, but he went into the outer circle, and all who would seek the Lord must go without the camp. The lesson is plain, and holds good even now.
Exodus 33:13, 14
Thus the Lord gives us his presence now and rest at the end. What a precious promise!
Grace received is the guarantee of answers to prayer.
Thus we see that the sovereignty of his grace is the very glory of God. Why do men quarrel with it?
Exodus 33:22, 23
Nowhere else can God be spiritually seen, save in the Rock of ages cleft for us. As yet we see but the skirts of his garments, but even this glimpse delights us. How sweet to know that however little we see of God, yet it is God, our Father.
I need thy presence every passing hour,—
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.
I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still if thou abide with me.