Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. (Exodus 32:34)
After such a horrendous upheaval among God’s people — the rebellion, the aftermath of their sin and the drama of Moses’ intercession — God tells Moses to get back on track and continue with the mission given him. We have no idea how many days transpired between the Golden Calf incident and this instruction to continue but one would think that the people had to be wondering, “What now?”
I have thought that many times myself, through the years, in those times when I realized the ramifications of my mistakes. There have been times when I wondered if God was through with me and that the mission given to me needed to be abandoned. The fact that I’m still here is evidence, thanks be to God, that He doesn’t give up on us even when it might spare Him and others a lot of heartache if He did. As long as we are breathing, there is always the hope and potential that we can fulfill the purpose for which we were born. Like the children of Israel, though we have to strive with consequences of our actions, we can go forward knowing His Presence goes with us.
Paul alluded to this kind of situation — and he would know — for he too had been guilty of some pretty horrible things in his life. However, as we all should, he came to realize that the mercy and forgiveness of God far surpasses our mistakes. Furthermore, it is important that we learn to put these forgiven transgressions behind us and work toward completing the mission He has called each of us to fulfill. As it was with Moses, we have the promise that His Presence will not abandon us but will go with us. And so, with that thought in mind, I will conclude with these words of exhortation from Paul:
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Messiah Yeshua. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Blessings and Shalom,