Monday, May 16, 2016

5 words


1 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian.

He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God.

2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush.

Moses stared in amazement.

Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn't burn up.

3 "This is amazing," Moses said to himself. "Why isn't that bush burning up? I must go see it."

  4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush,

"Moses! Moses!"

"Here I am!" Moses replied.

  5 "Do not come any closer," the LORD warned.

"Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.

6 I am the God of your father;

the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

When Moses heard this, he covered his face

because he was afraid to look at God.

7 Then the LORD told him,

"I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt.

I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers.

Yes, I am aware of their suffering.

8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land.

It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.

9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me,

and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them.

10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh.

You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt."

  11 But Moses protested to God,

"Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?

Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?"

12 God answered,

"I will be with you.”

Think about Moses' situation.

He was a Jew, adopted by Pharaoh's daughter, living in Pharaoh's palace.

Pharaoh was the most powerful man in the world.

Moses killed an Egyptian overseer who Moses caught beating a Jew.

Moses, a murderer, then fled Egypt, the most powerful nation in the world, & went into the desert of Sinai & hid out from Pharaoh.

Then God, in a burning bush, tells Moses:

not only is he supposed to go back to Egypt where Moses is wanted for murder,

but Moses is supposed to tell Pharaoh to let the Jews go.

The enslavement of the Jews was the basis of the economy for Egypt at the time.

If the Jews left Egypt, the economy would probably collapse.

The nitty gritty workforce for Egypt would be gone – 100's of thousands of them.

Who would do all the stuff that the Jews did for free for Egypt?

And God told Moses to walk into that situation & tell Pharaoh to let them go.

Maybe we can understand why that seemed like a completely & thoroughly ridiculous thing for God to tell Moses to do.

Moses basically responds to God's command by saying,

Who am I (a murderer) to stand before the most powerful man in the world in the most powerful nation in the world & tell him to let go of the linchpin of his economy & thereby throw his economy into chaos & collapse.”

And God said 5 words in response...

I will be with you.”

And we know the rest of the story.

For years I read & was exposed to this story of Moses & the burning bush.

And I somehow missed those 5 words.

Moses faced a mandate from God that looked like utter & total craziness.

Can you imagine what his wife thought & said to him when he told her?!

Or when he told his father-in-law, Jethro?

Or when he told his other relatives & friends?

I'm sure one or two of them thought he'd lost his mind – and probably said so.

And what did God say to Moses in the face of all that?

I will be with you.”

And that's what God says to all of us,

no matter what ridiculous or impossible whatever He tells us to be or do,

no matter what anyone says or does to us,

no matter what...

I will be with you.”

And that is enough.

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