It’s a sad moment for the Israelites. Their impatience with Moses and with God — their act of making and worshipping a golden calf — has cost them the land God promised to them when they left Egypt. God told them to “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it (Exodus 33:1, NASB).’”
It had to be a frustrating moment for Moses. After all he went through to get the Israelites to this point, their obstinate ways proved fatal. They would die not knowing the promised land. At this point I would think he would toss his staff aside and abandon the whole cause. But instead he did something that surprised me; he seeks to understand God better: “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people (Exodus 33:13).”
Did you catch that? “Let me know your ways that I may know you.” It’s a humble plea for a deeper knowledge of God. He doesn’t say, “Hey God, I thought I was favored by you!” He seeks to know God better so that “I may find favor in your sight.” Imagine if we had that attitude with God when things don’t go right; when we feel we disappoint God. Instead of saying, “I’m am such a failure, God,” prayerfully approach him with a desire to know Him and His ways better; with a desire to find favor with God.
© 2021 CGThelen