Good morning and happy Friday!
Exodus 6:1-13The Message
6 God said to Moses, “Now you’ll see what I’ll do to Pharaoh: With a strong hand he’ll send them out free; with a strong hand he’ll drive them out of his land.”
2-6 God continued speaking to Moses, reassuring him, “I am God. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as The Strong God, but by my name God (I-Am-Present) I was not known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the country in which they lived as sojourners. But now I’ve heard the groanings of the Israelites whom the Egyptians continue to enslave and I’ve remembered my covenant. Therefore tell the Israelites:
6-8 “I am God. I will bring you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. I will rescue you from slavery. I will redeem you, intervening with great acts of judgment. I’ll take you as my own people and I’ll be God to you. You’ll know that I am God, your God who brings you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. I’ll bring you into the land that I promised to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and give it to you as your own country. I AM God.”
9 But when Moses delivered this message to the Israelites, they didn’t even hear him—they were that beaten down in spirit by the harsh slave conditions.
10-11 Then God said to Moses, “Go and speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt so that he will release the Israelites from his land.”
12 Moses answered God, “Look—the Israelites won’t even listen to me. How do you expect Pharaoh to? And besides, I stutter.”
13 But God again laid out the facts to Moses and Aaron regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he again commanded them to lead the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.
This morning as I was reading through the scriptures and sipping my coffee, what struck me was the amazing amount of persistence that God pursues us with. Over and over again, God talks to Moses and says, “Tell my people….” Then Moses goes to the people and they don’t listen. Then Moses goes back to God and says to God that they aren’t listening and he isn’t the right guy. So God tells him the message again and sends him back to the people. This happens over and over and over again. God keeps giving this awesome message of a new way of being, Moses tells them, they don’t listen and complain a lot, Moses goes back to God defeated and the cycle repeats. I find myself in the story thinking, “these people are being dumb!” And yet when I think about my own life…how many times does God have to give me a message before I listen?
I think about my own call story and over and over again God places ministry in front of me and I wasn’t having it. God’s persistence continues to call me to these sacred spaces as I actively resist where God is calling me to next.
Is it out of fear that I turn the other direction? Is it out of my own weakness that I can’t see what God is saying over and over again? My own discomfort? My lack of vision? Or just because I am human? Probably all of the above to some level.
Although if I am honest with myself and spend just a little more time in reflection, prayer and discernment, I know which direction God is leading if I am not running around acting too busy. If I am honest with myself and God, I might be led a little easier and with a little less fear into the new ways of being.
So today I am actually trying to take my day off and spend a little time in rest (get over this nasty cold) and a little time in listening and being. Last night I found myself in unexplained anxiety which signals to me today that I need to sit with God a little bit more.
Where are you today? What is holding you back from seeing God’s great persistence?