Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wait God, you've got it backwards!

10"Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt." 11But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" 12And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain."
Exodus 3:10-12 (NASB)
What strikes me in reading this passage, which I know I've read at least a thousand times, is in God's response to Moses' complaint. Moses whines about his inadequacy to the task, trying to get out of this job Jehovah has set; God belays his complaint with a promise and a sign. His promise is that He will be with Moses, as his strength and support. The sign God gives is that Moses and all of Israel will worship Him on that mountain.

Uhm, God, I don't mean to be critical here but . . . uhm . . . well . . . that's kinda backwards. Isn't it? I mean, when You give a sign, especially when You call a person to a task, it is a sign for them to see to get them going. Right? Isaiah is transported to a scene of worship before Your throne, and you cleanse his lips with a coal. Gideon at least gets the wet and dry fleece. That's the way it works, God. You give a sign (not just something weak like Your voice coming from a burning bush) and I go. I see the strength of the Almighty and then I go doing something big and wonderful, like giving a few bucks to the local food shelter or sorting donations for the Salvation Army. You know, life-changing stuff. But, what, you expected Moses to go on just a promise? Next thing you know, you'll be expecting me to part the Red Sea on just a promise! What's up with that?

Oh, wait. I think I get it. This is one of those faith things, right? You're doing it that way to show us that You, God, are faithful. You tell us something, and we can trust it, right? Our faith is built on Jehovah's faithfulness. Is that it? You don't push us forward, goading us with signs and wonders; You pull us along, leading the way like a shepherd. You don't demand our worship, demand our obedience; but You do expect it because You have always and will always uphold Your promise. We see Your sign because the Red Sea does part, that inconvenient mountain moves; that impossible dream is a reality because Jehovah reached out and said "I will be with you" and actually was with us.

Sorry, God. My bad; Your good. You are divine, I am de branch. I won't ever question You again. I promise. Well . . . almost never again. Not again today. Okay, I promise to at least listen to Your side of the story before I open my big mouth. That's the best I can do.

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1 comment:

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