The people must have been traumatised after the false gods experience, then the killing and now with Moses back he negotiates with God about whether the whole enterprise will continue. God says they can have the promised land, but he will not be present with them. It only seems reasonable as they are a landless people right now.
It’s an exodus scene I wasn’t aware of before. Pre- tabernacle Moses has a tent of meeting, he goes and talks to God like a “friend”. The pillar of cloud rests the as he does so and all the people stand at the mouth of their tents and watch him, worshipping.
Moses pleads with God to stay with them, and in relenting, God decides to show Moses his glory. He can’t look directly at god’s face, only his back.
Contemplating how extraordinary was Moses’ relationship with God, I start to realise ours is better. We have Jesus’ face to contemplate, and his indwelling spirit to meet and chat anywhere we happen to be.
If I plead with God, it will be over my son’s mental issues. Can’t he gave a happy life?