Thursday, April 2, 2009

Moses Contends With God

For some reason I can't seem to get out of the book of Exodus. Whoosh! What was that? That was the sound of a pun flying over someones head [sorry]. Frankly, I'm liking being stuck in Exodus; there's a richness I've only scratched in previous readings.
In chapter 33 Moses is doing what I call, "Contending With God." Here are the verses. You tell me what's going on: vs.11 "So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle [a tent Moses pitched outside the main camp]. vs.12 Then Moses said to the Lord, "See, You say to me, 'Bring up this people.' But you have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.' vs.13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people. vs.14And He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. vs.15Then he [Moses] said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. vs.16"For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth." vs.17So the Lord said to Moses, "I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name." [Then Moses boldly asks;] vs.18"And he [Moses] said, "Please show me Your glory.......And I guess you know the rest of the story.
I find this exchange between God and Moses is incredibly fascinating. Here is Moses saying to God, "Look, you say You know my name; You say You want me to bring this people to the promised land; You say I have found grace in Your sight, and yet I don't know if You're going to lead us. Now I have to know; are You going to lead us or not. Because if not, why would we want to go? And remember, these are Your people." [Forgive the clumsy paraphrase].
The faith, the trust, the courage, the audacity of Moses...reading and understanding this dialogue should strengthen everyone who reads.
The point is obvious: We're coming out of spiritual Egypt into the Promised Land; and if God doesn't lead us, who will? And why would we want to walk under the banner of any other Leader? ...And we will see His glory; not his back [vs.23] but face to face [I Cor. 13:12]. Praise God!
God Bless. e.c.

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