Thursday, September 8, 2011

Learning from Moses

This morning, I picked back up on my study of the life of Moses.  I am struck by a very significant moment in Moses' life found in Exodus 3.  There he was tending sheep for his father-in law, Jethro. He was doing a necessary task on an ordinary day.

Then God showed up!  A bush began to burn, yet Moses saw that though the bush was on fire, it did not burn up.  

Verse 3 says, " So Moses thought,  I will go over and see this strange sight- why the bush does not burn up."  Honestly, I can't say that would be my first thought.  But maybe if it was just me and the sheep- who knows what I'd be willing to do for fun.

But notice verse 4.  It says "When the Lord saw that he (Moses) had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush.,  "Moses! Moses!"  

What if Moses had noticed, but not 'gone over to look'?  Would God have called his name then? Or would Moses have missed out on hearing from the Lord.  Would he have missed the opportunity to be know what God wanted him to do next? 

I've wondered often about this.  What about those time in our own life?  You know the ones- something happens in the middle of an ordinary day - and for an instant you know that it's something significant.  There is an awakening in you that this is a special moment.  The light seems different somehow.  The air seems fresher.  Your senses are heightened to keen observations.  

Have you wondered about those moments?  What if they are God moments- not a burning bush - and yet, may be it is.  Maybe is is an "angel of the Lord" appearing to you.  Sometimes we stop to notice.  Sometimes we try to listen to what that moment is saying.  But so often we're in a hurry to get on with life and so we rush off, appreciating that there was a moment- but missing the moments that 'could have been' had we only 'gone over to look!" 

And then do you notice when God did call Moses' name- what did Moses do?  He answers right away!  "Here I am."  Would you have answered that way?  I think I might have backed up and said, "Who said that? Jethro, is that you trying to scare me?"  But Moses doesn't say that. He acts as if this is an everyday occurrence.  Oh, listen, there's a voice coming from this burning bush- I bet it's God.  Yea Right! Was it more common for God to talk to those people than it is today?  Hmmm? I wonder!  

Over the past year, I've been watching for places that God might show up in my world.  You know what I discovered.  He shows up a lot and in amazing ways!  I'm pretty certain that the days I didn't see him wasn't because he wasn't there.  He promises he will never leave us.  In Joshua 1:5 after Moses died, God is establishing Joshua as the new leader of the people.  He says, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."  He says that to us too.

So if He's here, where is HE? What is he saying today to me? to you?  How do I make sure I don't miss what he's saying now? Here's what Moses shows me.

First of all, we have to be faithful.  Moses was faithfully carrying out the task that was before him.  He was tending sheep.  A necessary task on an ordinary day. What are the ordinary things that we struggle to do in our everyday life because we want to be about something more 'noble', more fun anyway?  Maybe its doing the laundry or helping our kid with her homework.  Maybe it's helping a sick friend, or paying a bill for a friend in need. What's right in front of you? Moses was being faithful to what was right in front of him put him in the right place to see God. 

Secondly, we have to notice. Moses could have just gone on about caring for the sheep and not notice the bush.  Though how you 'not' notice a burning bush in a desert I don't know.   But he not only noticed, but he went to get a closer look.  What if we prepared our heart to notice- took time out of the middle of the noise in our day to just ask, "What am I seeing?" What if we watched, listened and observed a little longer when those special moments occurred in the middle of the ordinary. It may mean we have to make time for silence; to create a place of sanctuary. Maybe it's a favorite chair in the corner of the room.  Maybe it's the car ride to work. Maybe it's a an evening walk.  Moses took time to go over and look.  

The third thing Moses teaches me is that when God speaks, be ready to respond.  Remember Moses' first words after God called Moses' name was 'Here am I". He didn't even hesitate.  OK, there are plenty of times even in Moses' story that he  debates with the Lord.  In fact, it's just a few sentences after he responds. God begins to tell Moses that He has seen the misery of His people and and has heard their cries.  So God is going to do something. 

He's going to send Moses to Pharaoh.  That's when Moses starts with the questions;
           Who am I, that I should go...? 
           What if I go and they don't listen?...
           Then what do I do?

           What if they don't believe me?
           Lord, you know I can't speak so good.
           Please send someone else!

Sound familiar! We've all done it.  We've been faithful, we've noticed God at work, we've heard him call our name and we said, "Here I am!", only to be scared to death at what He asks us to do.  Ah, we are so human!
But the thing is- even in Moses' questions, he is in dialog with God.  Moses is hearing God speak to each of the fears that Moses has.  He is given tools to work with- ok, so it was a staff to work with, and a teammate, his brother, Aaron to help him.  God would have liked for Moses to just say yes and do what God asked.  Can you imagine what might have happened then?  But the point is, God worked with Moses in all of his frailties. Moses was used by God to do a mighty work with His people. 

Is God calling your name today?  Maybe you need to look around to see if the bush in burning in your back yard.  I'm seeing something happening out my window.  I think "I will go over and see what it is!"  How about you?  

Here I am, Lord! 

1 comment:

  1. "Do every little thing to the glory of God...tell the story of His grace with every move you make..." -S. C. Chapman