And now I have seen the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.Exodus 3:9-10
This is another one of those famous stories from scripture. Moses being called by God at the burning bush. (Read the whole story here)
What are we to say about this story? Was God capable of hearing the cry of his people but unable to act himself? Did he need an ally in the form of Moses in order to be seen and heard? This is a ridiculous thought. The God who turned the Nile into blood, brought plagues of gnats, flies and frogs, inflicted hailstones and boils and ultimately killed the firstborn of every family who were not sheltering under the Passover lamb, this God could have acted unilaterally. God did not need Moses.
Yet here we see God, who was about to show ever increasing displays of his power, who would part the red sea and provide manna to eat as thought it was as natural as dew settling on the grass, choosing to work through Moses. Previously we thought about God’s call on Abraham’s life, but that was much more in the sense of being called to worship and follow God. Moses is being called to something else altogether.
Who was Moses? Moses started out life as just another Hebrew boy in a land of slavery and hardship. He had a difficult start to life having to survive Pharaoh’s call for all Hebrew boys to be slaughtered. Although because of a quick-thinking mother, an attentive sister and a compassionate princess, (all under the auspices of a sovereign God), life improved for Moses as he was raised in the royal household. (Read the story here)
Moses life took another turn when he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, making sure no-one was watching Moses killed the Egyptian and tried to hide the body. As with all these things news got out and Moses was forced to flee his life of privilege, literally running to the hills where he lived out the next 40 years as a shepherd. (Read the story here)
So not only is it strange that God, as powerful as he is, should choose to partner with Moses. His choice of partner was interesting. He did not choose someone successful, or influential. He chose someone who had failed morally and politically, someone who had lost all influence – someone Pharaoh wanted to kill, rather than listen to. (Exodus 2:15)
If we are to understand God then we should understand that although God does not need us to work his will and fulfil his purposes, he chooses to do so. Going back to creation God’s charge to Adam and Eve was to ‘rule over the fish in the sea, and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over the all the creatures that move along the ground.’ (Genesis 1:26)
God’s original intention was for mankind to rule in his place, to be his prince, his prime minster, his envoy. The earth was to be maintained through a partnership between a sovereign God and an obedient man. Although we fail in obedience God has never removed the command for mankind to rule over the earth. The partnership still exists. Even if we are a failed character with a chequered past like Moses.
How are we partnering in God’s creation? Who has God heard cry out and he sends us to their aid? Who are the people who need to hear the good news of the gospel and God sends us to preach? (Romans 10:14)
God works in partnership, have we realised we works in partnership with us?
Prayer Heavenly Father I thank you for the way in which you have chosen to work in partnership with me. Forgive me for not understanding that this partnership is Holy Ground, a privilege and a responsibility. Forgive me for being like Moses and dreaming up all sorts of reasons as to why I am the wrong person. Lord, just as you equipped Moses, equip me today with speech and signs and wisdom that I would take the message that you have heard your people cry. Amen
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