ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 148


When the people heard these stern words, they went into mourning
and stopped wearing their jewelry and fine clothes. For the Lord had
told Moses to tell them, “You are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I
were to travel with you for even a moment, I would destroy you. Remove
your jewelry and fine clothes while I decide what to do with you.” So
from the time they left Mount Sinai, the Israelites wore no more jewelry
or fine clothes.
It was Moses’ practice to take the Tent of Meeting and set it up some distance from the camp. Everyone who wanted to make a request of the Lord
would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp.
Whenever Moses went out to the Tent of Meeting, all the people would
get up and stand in the entrances of their own tents. They would all watch
Moses until he disappeared inside. As he went into the tent, the pillar of
cloud would come down and hover at its entrance while the Lord spoke
with Moses. When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of
the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents. Inside
the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one
speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the
young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind
in the Tent of Meeting.
One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these
people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will
send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably
on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways
so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And
remember that this nation is your very own people.”
The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give
you ­rest—­everything will be fine for you.”
Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave
this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on ­me—­on me
and on your ­people—­if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us
sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for
I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”
The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I
will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may
not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord
continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence

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