It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Moses' Response to God's Response, a Reflection on Exodus 3:1-15

Moses is at work. The text gives us no indication that he is seeking God or that he has spent much time thinking about what had happened to him in Egypt and what is still happening there. But, God has been thinking about these things.

But, when God impinges on Moses' life, Moses does notice. When God sees that Moses is willing to let the everyday stuff be laid aside, God calls to him.

"I have seen the misery of my people who are still in Egypt. I have heard their cry. I have come down to rescue them, to bring them to a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey."

Rescue, though not immediate, is imminent.

Then God tells Moses how this rescue is going to be effected: "I'm sending you."

Several questions arise for me as I think about this passage. How many times does God make a dramatic appearance in our not-so-dramatic lives, and we don't even notice? How many times are we compelled to come closer to God, to recognize a holy time and place, and we don't respond? Should we expect God to know our suffering? Do we recognize God's behind-the-scenes work in our rescue from that suffering? Does everyone, or anyone, respond positively to the call of God if it is to do something as dangerous as face a Pharaoh?

God has heard the cry of the Israelites and has come to send Moses to rescue them. Has Moses been paying much attention to their cry? We are told nothing of his yearnings to save his people. "Who am I?" he asks. "Why have you picked me?"

I've always read this as modesty on Moses' part. But, now I'm thinking that it may be more than modesty. It may be a sincere question, "Why me? Why not someone who has spent years devoted to freedom fighting?" Or, "Why not somebody who doesn't have a steady job and a family to take care of? Don't you know some single, underemployed people who have time for charity work?" [I admit I'm going a little over the top now, but I'm thinking of common current reasons for not doing God's work.]

God responds, "What difference does it make who you are or what you think you are good at? Think about it. I Am the one who is sending you."

(As before, much thanks to William Goldingay, Old Testament Theology, Volume One, Israel's Gospel)

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