Exodus 33

“Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (v11).  The Israelites were special because God chose to dwell among them (His original plan for all humans), yet His presence was mediated through sacrifices, Tabernacle worship, and Moses himself, who had a unique relationship with the Creator.  However, the Israelites could be cast off and “consumed” by God’s holiness if they persisted in sin (ch 34, 33:5).  Moses begged God for mercy, asking Him not to withdraw His presence (v15).