DayBreaks for 3/09/17: Because You Have Met Me
From the DayBreaks archive, March 2007:
Exodus 4:4-5 (NIV) – Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has appeared to you.
The nerve of some Biblical people amazes me. Moses, while we’re told that he was the meekest man, was very bold at times with God. His first known encounter with God in the wilderness at the burning bush shows how stubborn we as humans can be. All of a sudden, out of the blue, Moses is drawn to the bush and told that God wants to send him on a mission to lead Israel out of 400 years of captivity and slavery in Egypt. God speaks of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph – and the promises He made to them and how He intends now, in the time of Moses, to fulfill those great promises. And what does Moses do? He hems, haws, and otherwise tries to avoid the mission. He gives God lots of excuses (not reasons) why he’s not the right person. Moses would learn that it didn’t pay to argue with God. But he hasn’t learned it yet. And so he worries that Israel will not believe that God wants to relieve them of their slavery, and he asks God for signs to give to the people that will convince them.
And so, finally God makes the statement to Moses that’s found in Exodus 4:5, after having Moses’ staff turn into a serpent: This is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has appeared to you.
I’d missed this for nearly 55 years now. It wasn’t the serpent that would convince people that Moses had been sent by God. It was really nothing more than God telling Moses that the people will know that He sent Moses because Moses has met God. (God has appeared to him.)
Each day as I wander through the streets of town, go into buildings or stores, pull up to the gas pump, buy a Dr. Pepper – I wonder if people can tell that I have met God? What kind of evidence is there that I’ve met Him – and He has met with me? And it’s not just that I’ve met Him – He lives within me in a way I don’t know if He did with Moses! The evidence of having met the Maker is radical and life-changing. From this encounter onward, for as long as he lived, Moses was a changed man. He still had moments of weakness and doubt, but the people would follow him because he knew the Lord’s name…another way of saying, he knew God.
Having met God doesn’t make us perfect, but if it hasn’t changed us – RADICALLY changed us – perhaps we’ve never met him like Moses did in the wilderness. We don’t have to have a burning bush in our life to meet Him. Yet, He is all around us, and in us. We need to learn to do what Moses finally did: stop arguing and fighting with Him and let Him have His way in us, to use us for His glorious purposes (which will, by the way, work to our benefit!) and to let others know we have met God and been sent by Him.
PRAYER: Sometimes, Father, much to our great embarrassment, we hide the fact that we have met You. We are too fearful, weak-kneed and stubborn to bear witness for you. May we truly meet You even now, may we be radically changed by that encounter, so that wherever we go, people will know you exist and that by our changed lives, they will know we have met the Living God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.