Presence/Glory – Rest/Burnout

Exodus 33:12-18, Numbers 11:10-17

Moses knew that learning God’s ways was a sure way to success in life. So he asked God in Exodus 33:13.
‘if I have found favor in your eyes, teach me your ways so that I may know you and continue to find favor with you.’

The Lord replied “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”

For some reason, God knew His Presence and His Rest were the 2 main qualities that would make Moses successful in his leadership.

Then Moses said to Him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

Then Moses saimoses glory1d, “Now show me your glory.”

It interests me that Moses was very keen on having the Presence of God with him. He picks up on that straight away.
He realised that he daren’t go forward without it, and that when it was with them, other nations around them would see its effects.

And then he was quick to ask God to reveal His Glory to him. An extraordinary request that God answered when Moses was up Mt Sinai collecting the 10 commandments. The reflection of glory on his face was so great that when he came back to the Israelite camp, he had to cover his face as the people couldn’t look at him.


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he made no comments about the offer of rest. He doesn’t take God up on the offer or reinforce how it could help him in the huge task he had of being a leader.
In Numbers 11:10-15 he has a meltdown about how the burden of leadership is too heavy to manage.

burnoutV 11 ‘Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of this people on me?’

V14 “I cannot carry these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.”

And of course it is realistic that he should have help in leading such a large group, but I do wonder if he would have asked God for more support earlier in the journey, and perhaps in a more positive way without a meltdown if he had understood the magnitude of the gift of Rest that God had offered him initially.

I think we have trivialised and underestimated Rest.

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There are treasures in Rest that you don’t find anywhere else.
And we have forgotten how to do it effectively.
Which is why I have written my book – Rest: a science and an art – based on my life work of teaching people how to access calm.

There is a lot of media time given to discussions about busyness these days. It has replaced Stress as a buzz word. And as Christians God offers us His Presence and His Rest. We need to be the ones the world looks to as we practice this skill in our lives.

See my website