Tag Archives: Moses

Making a God of Our Own

You were delayed Moses,
you didn’t come back
when we wanted you to.

We didn’t know where you were
or what you were doing
and we,
so we thought,
couldn’t wait.

You didn’t act God,
when
and how,
we wanted ,
thought we needed
you to.

So,
we took matters into our own hands.
made ourselves a god,
a god that looked like we thought it should,
would do what we wanted it to.

And we worshipped it,
the god of our own making,
our design,
to meet our purposes.

Forgive me Lord,
when I have failed to wait for you,
your time,
your best ways.

When I have taken things into my own hands
tried to make you be like I want
you to be,
to look like the kind of God I think I need.

When I have made you
in my image
and offered my all,
my precious gifts
to that poor imitation.

May I learn to wait for you,
for your timing,
not try to force you hand,
but to live by your ways,
for you are God,
the only God I need,
the only one worthy of my praise
and worship.

The Golden Calf

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mould, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.’ They rose early the next day, and offered burnt-offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” ’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.’

But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.” ’ And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

Exodus 32: 1-14

Opening Up

19 The angel of God, who had been in front of the army of Israel, moved and went to the rear. The pillar of cloud also moved until it was 20 between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud made it dark for the Egyptians, but gave light to the people of Israel, and so the armies could not come near each other all night.

21 Moses held out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind. It blew all night and turned the sea into dry land. The water was divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides. 23 The Egyptians pursued them and went after them into the sea with all their horses, chariots, and drivers. 24 Just before dawn the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. 

25 He made the wheels of their chariots get stuck, so that they moved with great difficulty. The Egyptians said, “The Lord is fighting for the Israelites against us. Let’s get out of here!”

26 The Lord said to Moses, “Hold out your hand over the sea, and the water will come back over the Egyptians and their chariots and drivers.” 27 So Moses held out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the water returned to its normal level. The Egyptians tried to escape from the water, but the Lord threw them into the sea. 

28 The water returned and covered the chariots, the drivers, and all the Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea; not one of them was left. 29 But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides.

30 On that day the Lord saved the people of Israel from the Egyptians, and the Israelites saw them lying dead on the seashore. 31 When the Israelites saw the great power with which the Lord had defeated the Egyptians, they stood in awe of the Lord; and they had faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Exodus 14:19-31

Caught in a hard place,
a place of terror.
A place where home
and the place of rescue
had become
a burden
and where we were enslaved.

God stood between God’s people
and their enemies,
giving protection,
shining God’s light
to see the way forward.

We had to step forward,
into the way we were shown,
without knowing how
or why.
But we went
only in God’s strength –
not our own.

Today, what is God opening up before us?  Where is God taking us?  From the fear and disorientation of the last sixth months, where might God be leading me and you?

May God bless us,
each on our journey with God
and other.

May you know God’s presence,
this day
       and always.

Fire on Holy Ground

In the wilderness
far from anywhere,
when
out of the corner of my eye
I catch sight of something.

A bush on fire,
not that unusual
in the blazing desert heat,
but there was something odd about this.
It was well ablaze,
but not actually turning to ash,
it was still intact,
despite the flames.

This needed investigating.

As I turned aside to look,
when God saw
my full attention captured,
God spoke.
My interest had been piqued
and now God could say
what I needed to hear.

God called to me,
by my name.
I was to come no closer,
for this was holy ground,
a special place
where God and I
were going to meet.
I took off my shoes,
for this was an occasion
for standing on solid,
feeling the earth beneath my feet.

And God revealed Godself.
The God of my ancestors,
all those people
so special to me.

I hid my face
for I was afraid
to look God in the eye.

God knew.
God saw
the way we were being treated,
how Egypt has made us suffer.
God has heard our cry
to be rescued.

Now God is going to rescue us,
to bring us to a good place,
somewhere rich,
fertile
and free.

But God is going to do this via me!

Has God gone mad?
Does God think I am someone else?
Is God confused?
I am a nobody,
how can I go
and speak to the king,
never mind
lead a departure
from the land.

Who am I,
that I could do that?

God assured me
there was no mistake,
I was the one,
we would do it together.
God is with me
I am not alone in this.

But when I go to my people
they will want to know
what this is all about,
who has told me,
in whose strength
are we going.
What shall I say?

I am,
it is I,
the God
of all that has gone before.
That is what to call me,
how I shall be known.
I am the God
who has been with generations past
and I am the God who will go forward with you now.

Thank you Lord,
that you call me,
but do not call me to go alone.

Thank you that the God
who has always been with us,
is still with us
in this part of the journey.

Thank you
that as you call me,
you equip me.
I do nothing in my strength,
poor as it is,
but everything in
your power.

I stand
on the Holy Ground
of your presence
as you equip me,
fill me
and guide me,
us on.

God Calls Moses

One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up. “This is strange,” he thought. “Why isn’t the bush burning up? I will go closer and see.”

When the Lord saw that Moses was coming closer, he called to him from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses! Moses!”

He answered, “Yes, here I am.”

God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” So Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued from their slave drivers. I know all about their sufferings, and so I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of Egypt to a spacious land, one which is rich and fertile and in which the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites now live. I have indeed heard the cry of my people, and I see how the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Now I am sending you to the king of Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country.”

11 But Moses said to God, “I am nobody. How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 God answered, “I will be with you, and when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will worship me on this mountain. That will be the proof that I have sent you.”

13 But Moses replied, “When I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ So what can I tell them?”

14 God said, “I am who I am. You must tell them: ‘The one who is called I Am has sent me to you.’ 15 Tell the Israelites that I, the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have sent you to them. This is my name forever; this is what all future generations are to call me.

Exodus 3:1-15