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” (Exodus 33:15-17, NLT).
After the Israelites had built the golden calf while Moses was on Mt. Sinai meeting with God, God sent a plague upon them to punish them and then threatened to withdraw His presence from among them.
Moses begged for God to go with him and the people of Israel to the Promised Land, speaking the words in these verses.
The word “personally” is from a Hebrew term that is literally rendered “face.” Moses wanted to continue experiencing a “face-to-face” with God.
And, because God was personal to His people then God would show favor toward His people.
Where God ‘s presence was, was where He wanted to do good, to act favorably. And God’s presence was a mark of distinction indicating that God’s people received His favor.
Today, the Holy Spirit is God’s presence with us. The Holy Spirit manifests God’s presence among His people by dwelling in them and empowering them, individually and collectively.
So, because God wants to have a personal relationship with us, a “face-to-face,” He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The indwelling Holy Spirit identifies us with Christ.
The Holy Spirit is God’s mark of distinction on those with whom He wants to have a personal relationship and show His favor.
And then, the Holy Spirit enables and empowers God’s people to be distinctive from the rest of the world.
“It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, HCSB).