Moses understood that a nation blessed by God yet without Him was no better off than any other people in the world. One can receive the very best of God’s provisions and still be no better than the vilest of sinners. Our desire must be to become a holy people, designated exclusively for the service of Jesus Christ, but the only way this is possible is for the very presence of the eternal God to walk beside us.
And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.
Exodus 33:15 ESV
In God’s anger, He was prepared to send the Israelites into the Promised Land without His presence. God is always faithful to keep His promises, and, because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He would have still given them the land. Indeed, He was ready to send a angel from heaven with them to drive out all of the Canaanites dwelling within the land.
How many people would gladly take God’s offer, willingly leaving behind His presence in order to receive His blessings and gifts?
Moses, however, was different.
He knew that this was a terrible exchange, a trade that would leave the Israelites in complete ruin. Moses understood that God Himself is far more valuable than any of His gifts or blessings.