“Now if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, please teach me Your ways, and I will know You and find favor in Your sight. Now consider that this nation is Your people." Then He replied, "My presence will go [with you], and I will give you rest." – Exodus 33:13-14 HCSB

Ah, love’s sweet boldness. What courage rises within the lover’s heart! A tzaddik, after initial doubts and fears[1], here finally discovers the true possibilities of d’vekut, the mystical communion between God’s Spirit and ours.

When first called, Moses tried to beg off the responsibilities, using the old cliché “It’s not you, it’s me.” But God pursued, man succumbed and great things happened. This is always the pattern. God is always first. God always initiates. This is why we can take credit for nothing. When we surrender our will to God’s ways, the inherent possibilities of the situation skyrocket to infinitude. Why? Not because we were humble enough or smart enough to yield. We cannot even take credit for that mustard seed of faith because it is God’s Spirit that even makes faith possible[2]. We pursue Him even while His hand supports us[3]. Our possibilities only achieve their lofty height when our pride steps aside and El Olam’s power becomes more readily apparent. In our weakness His strength is revealed[4].

So much more than grand miracles happened for Moses though. Oh yes, rivers turned to blood; insects swarmed; frogs cavorted; darkness fell; firstborn died; great seas were split and armies were drowned. But these events were just the warm up. The true miracle occurred when one man came to love the Yahweh Nissi for who He was rather than for what He could do.

Moses finally came to realize that he didn’t need authoritative credentials[5]. He didn’t need a magical bag of tricks[6]. He did not need Aaron[7]. What he needed was God[8].

“Please,” he begged. The tone was pleading – longing, much like a young man looking into the eyes of his loved one and asking for that first kiss. The tremulous tone, the hesitation at crossing that line…all the markings of young love are there for those who know what to look for.

“Teach me your ways.” Why? So he could use the knowledge to consolidate his position of power? So others would look up to him as a great and wise man? No. It was in order to better know God and find favor in His sight.

What is the sign of true love if not to find our lover fascinating and want to know everything about them? We absolutely want to find favor in their sight. We want to see our longing reflected in their eyes.

God, in His great mercy and condescension, granted the request. “My presence will go with you.” And the result? Rest that only comes from the knowledge that we are loved. Be bold - love greatly and therein find peace.

[1] Exodus 3:11

[2] Isaiah 64:4-9; Job 14:4; Jeremiah 13:23; Matthew 11:27; 1 Corinthians 2:14

[3] Psalm 63:8

[4] 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

[5] Exodus 3:13

[6] Exodus 4:1-5

[7] Exodus 4:13-16

[8] Psalm 42:1-2