Moses had already chatted with God at the burning bush, confronted Pharaoh warning of the plagues, led the children of Israel out of Egypt.
He had walked with God. He had talked with God. On a regular basis. He had faced so many fears, from stuttering to his own reputation to leading a nation of complainers.
God told Him to take them to the promised land, but God would NOT be going with them because they were a stiff-necked people. Constantly shifting from being smack in the middle of God’s provisions and deliverance to whining and fashioning their own idols. How wearisome!
But Moses continued to come to God. When he was distressed, needing direction, weary, angry, fearful or confused – He went to God. Over and over again. And he pleaded with God for these stiff-necked people, who no doubt, he also found to be frustrating. They couldn’t have been an easy group to lead.
After God’s instructions to go to the promised land, and Moses pleading with God, the Lord promised the He WOULD go with them. The next verse finds Moses saying that if God’s presence was not going with them, then he didn’t want to go.
So, going to the promised land wasn’t enough? If it was a choice between the promised land he had been leading the stiff-necked people to for 40 years without God’s presence, and staying in the wilderness with the presence of God, then Moses didn’t even have to think about it. He wanted to be wherever God’s presence would be.
The next thing God said in verse 14 was that He would give Moses rest.
It’s not my situation.
It’s not my circumstance.
It’s not the promised land.
It’s not the people I journey through this life with.
It’s His presence.
That’s where the rest is.
God pursued Moses for a very specific role in His plan for the children of Israel. In turn, Moses pursued God with a fervency of which most of us can only dream. In the midst of it all, Moses learned the truth that the relationship with God was the goal. To be in His presence. To be comfortable enough in His presence to experience deep rest.
That is the promised land.
Not a specific latitude and longitude.
It’s His presence.
Even when that leaves us right smack in the middle of the desert.
Oh that I would be less stiff-necked and more fervent in my pursuit of God.
That He alone would be my goal.
Not a place.
Not an accomplishment.
Not a feeling.
But Him alone.
In Him alone will I find meaning and purpose and rest for a weary soul.