Thursday 11 July 2024

But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (v. 13)

Exodus 3:7-15 Thursday 11 July 2024

Psalm 16

I love some of these stories in the Bible where, in the midst of a serious message, we find moments of humanity.

Today we are continuing to read the story of Moses in Exodus. We see him at a burning bush. It was a bush on fire but not consumed, a place where God is revealed.

Moses is conversing with God in what undoubtedly would be a very serious moment. I'm sure the words we read don’t fully convey the wonder and the magnitude of this moment for Moses. His response to the strange sight of the burning bush and the voice calling his name is simply to say, "Here I am." He does not run away.

God describes the misery of the Israelites in Egypt. Hearing their cries, God is going to send Moses back to Egypt. Moses receives a commission to go to the new Pharaoh and to bring the people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. Moses questions God: Who am I that I should be the one sent? (v. 13) Does he do that from humility or fear? God declares that he will be with him.

We see humanity in this moment. Moses utters the words "Suppose I go, and this happens..." There are other encounters with God where individuals are sent for a purpose and have similar questions. Jonah, for example, when tasked with going to Nineveh (Jonah 1) says to God "But I know what's going to happen!" After he eventually takes God’s message to the town and is sitting outside the walls, Jonah becomes angry with God, telling God again how he knew this would happen!

Sometimes we think we know better than God. We think we know what's going to happen. We suggest that perhaps God has made a mistake. It may be a sign that we are comfortable within our faith to be able to respond to God in such ways, but it also shows how little we know and how much we simply need to focus and trust God. I am grateful for the way God responds to Moses, to Jonah, to me and to you, in so far as God chooses to use us, even when we question the plan. I'm also grateful for the way God never gives up on us and challenges us to be the people he knows us to be.

To Ponder:

  • What excuses or questions do we offer back to God when we are called to serve?
  • How do we receive God’s help and encouragement for the journey ahead?

We pray that we might learn to follow the advice in Micah 6: to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. Amen.

Bible notes author: The Revd Mark Carrick
Mark is a presbyter in the Derbyshire North East Circuit, and is currently the minister of Central, Barlborough and Clowne churches. His passion is for ministry within the community and growing disciples within the Church. Mark has now served four years in the Methodist Church and is preparing to become Superintendent in 2025.

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