My Face Will Go with You
On New Year's Eve I was in church with my loved ones, singing praise songs and hearing a stirring sermon about Moses' refusal to move forward without God's assuring His presence to go with him (Exodus 33).
I was pumped up, moved, and convicted. As I bowed my head, I fervently prayed that Papa God would bless me with His presence in 2023. If I did not have His presence in my life, His blessings would be meaningless. Following God's Word, I felt peace and assurance that the Shekinah glory of God would accompany me.
“Bring it on 2023” was my joyous cry!
The euphoria of the new year where I felt invincible, invulnerable, unconquerable lasted for at most a day. It didn’t take long before someone’s behaviour unsettled me, and I felt vulnerable. A few days later, a long-buried issue reared its head again, and I found myself feeling helpless. Then a loved one received an unexpected health diagnosis, and I found myself wrestling with reality.
Have I missed God’s presence, already?
No. I have not
The promise that God made to Moses of His presence in Exodus 33:14 (“My presence will go with you and I will give you rest”) is the Hebrew word “pānîm” which means “face”.
So literally it is “My Face will go with you”.
This was a promise that:
God would be with Moses right away as he led the children of Israel to the promised land;
God would be with Moses in every circumstance he would face on the way to the promised land; and
Moses wouldn't have to worry or be disturbed because God would provide him with rest (nûah, which is Hebrew for "a resting place").
So, when God said, “My face (presence) will go with you” into 2023, it does not promise the absence of challenges. It promises a riveting adventure with God by my side.
In my indecisiveness, He will be my shepherd (Yehovah Royi).
In my weakness, He will be my strength (Yehovah Ozi).
Through any losses, He will recompense (El Gemulah).
Amidst my battles, He will be my defense (Yehovah Maginnenu).
When I seek Him, He will reveal Himself (Yehovah Goali).
In case I falter, He will show mercy (El Rakhum).
He is the one who sanctifies (Yehovah Mekaddishkem), and He is my righteousness (Yehovah Tsidkenu). He is my Yeshua and He promised that His face (pānîm) will go with me.
Bring it on 2023, for this is my assurance: God said, “My face will go with you”.