Saturday, January 22, 2011

Exodus 17-19

I'm a day late one this entry, but I hope that it is still true, "better late than sorry".  For what it is worth, here is my latest ramblings:

The cry is of the Israelite is a common one for us as well as for those ancients that we are reading about, "is the Lord among us or not?"  This will be a common rumbling among these people that God is trying to form into a nation.  From our perspective, we wonder how could they constantly be whining when God does such might miracles for them, but generations from now there may well be others who look back upon the nation that we call America and wonder how we could question God's goodness and our call to be a "city on a hill".  It is easier to question in the moment when your are up to you neck in alligators than when you are resting comfortably on the bank; well fed, all powdered up and rested.  These folks were experiencing something totally new and different.  This desert experience would try them and test them until 40 years later they are finally ready to be the people of God called Israel.

In the battle against the Amalekites we see one of God's principles for the people of God.  Moses encourages those in the battle with upraised arms, but he needs trustworthy companions to assist him lest his strength fail.  Every pastor, every leader needs others to walk with them, encourage them, pray for them.  The enemy is great and no leader, no matter how gifted or talented, will stand against the fray forever unless the feel the presence of the body of Christ walking with them.

Jethro's wise advice to delegate tasks and authority is echoed in the New Testament in the Acts of the Apostles when the Disciples appoint Deacons to carry out some of the work of the new church.  We try to accomplish the same thing with the naming of Trustees and other officers in the church.  We are each gifted and called to be a part of the working body of Christ that encourages, lifts, feeds and nourishes others within and without the Body.

Lastly, I think it a foretelling when God speaks to Moses about making Israel a Kingdom of Priest (19th chapter).  That is exactly what Jesus repeats when he says that every believer is a member of the Priesthood and he serves as our High Priest.  Each of us has authority to enter into the Holy of Holies and intercede with God for one another.  We need no other to help us gain access to the Heavenly places except Jesus Christ.

The people are frightened by God's appearance on the mountain.  Would we also cower in God's presence or would we trust in Jesus to make us worthy to stand before our God and our maker?  This whole Christian thing is about trust (another word for faith).  Do we trust?  Do our lives exhibit that trust?  or do we ask someone else to stand in the presence and intercede for us?

1 comment:

  1. When I think about this and about the things that happen and are talked about in America today, I can easily see how this question, “is the Lord among us or not?”, could have been asked all those years ago. We haven’t walked the path of the ancients; how can we possibly imagine we have any legitimate perspective on their complaints, their ‘whining’, their fears. Aren’t many today experiencing hard times – losing jobs, losing homes? Are many questioning the rhetoric of people and actions of politicians of today? Are many wondering where is the “Lord”? Are many wondering what is going to happen to “one Nation under God” that seems to have lost its way? Are we doing a form of “whining”? How does a Nation lose its way? Is it one person at a time? Is it one person who doesn’t question changes that seem designed to separate “God” from ‘One nation under God”? Is it one person talking to another and another until some critical mass is achieved and there is a shift? Do you wonder how many now wonder: “Is the Lord among us or not?” Do you wonder if God will forsake us as a nation, because it looks like our ‘nation’ has forsaken God? Do we even recognize the mighty miracles God works for us today? Are we too sophisticated to believe that even one such as ‘us’ – someone we know - could be the tool God uses to bring a ‘miracle’ to another one of ‘us’? Do we look for miracles in the events that surround us? Are we praying? Are we asking the Lord to ‘deliver’ us to easy street – or asking the Lord to sustain us and strengthen us in His Love as we experience whatever happens in our lives, as we live whatever Plan God has for us? Are we trusting God? I don’t know. I don’t have answers…only questions. I just think we are not so different from those ancients.