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“Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.” (Exodus 33:12–13, ESV)
Moses had followed God through hell and high-water, literally. He had faithfully carried out every duty that God had asked of him, and he had lead the nation of Israel into freedom. Yet he was not satisfied, for he felt that he did not know God as intimately as God knew him. Moses desires to know, "...whom [God] will send with ]him..." for the purposes of showing "...me [Moses] now your [God's] ways, that I [Moses] may know you in order to find favor in your [God's] sight." Moses wants to know who it is that is with him in an intimate sense so that he can observe his behavior. He desires to observe God's behavior in order to act like God and find favor in God's eyes.
Thousands of years later Jesus Christ would come and solve this problem. The Gospel of John records for us,
“No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he [Jesus] has made him known.” (John 1:18, ESV)
Christian, you are called to observe carefully how Christ behaves, what He does, and how He acts in every situation in order that you might imitate Him. The only way to do this is through careful study of His Word, with particular attention paid to the Gospels. But observation isn't enough. We must put it into practice, and the the first place we start to practice this faith is at church with other believers who share our desire to imitate Jesus.
“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12, ESV)
John repeats the phrase word for word that we find in his Gospel. However, rather than making mention of Jesus he now describes how God can be known: He can be known if we love one another.
God lead Israel out of bondage, but they still did not know Him in order to find favor in His sight. They still had not observed Him, and Moses craves this more than anything else. Besides seeing the plagues on Egypt, aside from the parting of the Red Sea, and apart from all the other miracles, what Moses desired most is to see the One who is with him. It is clear that all of John's letters and his Gospel were written to the church. The church is the only place where God's behavior is observed. It is not the para-church organization, the evangelistic society, the missionary society, or any of the other philanthropic organizations where God's behavior can be observed. Though all of these organizations engage in fruitful ministry, they are not the church. The Father lives and resides within the church today, and He chooses to make His home nowhere else. He is in the church, and therefore the world must turn to observe the behavior of God lived out in the church.
This is the essence of our Faith. We know that we have been given a great privilege in our union with Christ, our adoption into the family of the Heavenly Father, our belonging to the people of the Holy God. We get to know Him in a way that the world does not, indeed can not. But in knowing Him, we are given this tremendous privilege to imitate Him and reveal Him before a watching world. May God give us the grace to be what He has called us to be.
To know more about becoming a Christian, please click here to hear a presentation of the Gospel.