I’ll Give You What You Want, But…!

You can have it all, but ….  – A whining child, a nagging spouse, there are times when the pressures are great and the tendency is to give in.  In Exodus 33:1-3 God says to the Israelites that they should depart and move towards the promised land.  He says that He would send His angel ahead of them to drive out the enemies.  It would be a land flowing with milk and honey, just as God had promised, but God would not go with them.  God is disappointed with the children of Israel. In the absence of Moses they have built a golden calf, it is obvious that they are stiff necked and hard hearted. God tells Moses to step away and He will build a new nation of people from the offspring of Moses.  However Moses intercedes by appealing to God’s ability and faithfulness to keep His word, and Israel is spared.
God responds by saying that He will allow the Israelites to enter the promised land, the land flowing with milk and honey. God would even send His angels ahead of them to drive out the enemy that is living in the land. It seems like the perfect situation, all the promises and no enemies. However there is one “catch” to this scenario, God would not go with them. God would provide, protect and fulfill the promises but He would not be in their midst.
Immediately the Israelites responded by mourning, (Ex. 33:4). These people, even in their carnal mentality, valued the presence of God being with them.  They could have had a peaceful and blessed life without God, instead they chose to have God instead of immediate blessings.
We could easily say that we too would want God to be with us.  Yet unfortunately by our actions we often show that we would prefer the blessings of the world, without even considering whether it would cost us the lack of God being with us.