“I will sing to the Lord / For He has triumphed gloriously! / The horse and its rider / He has thrown into the sea!…The Lord shall reign forever and ever.” Exodus 15:1-18
The passage above is called The Song of Moses. It was his joyous reaction to seeing Pharaoh and his army and chariots consumed by the Red Sea (Yam Suph). He had walked between walls of water, watched them slam like thunder onto the Egyptians, and watched bodies wash up on the shore.
Yeah, I’d likely dance a little jig too!
But where was that song up till now? He saw a burning bush that didn’t burn up. He was hand-picked by God to be the executor of His holy Will. God made his staff a thing of magic, becoming a snake at his bidding, turning his hand to leprosy and back again…not to mention the burning bush. Moses’ response?
“C’mon, Man! Me? I’m a stutterer. I don’t speak too good. How ‘bout You get someone else? Really. I won’t mind.”
God’s considered response was to have Aaron be Moses’ mouthpiece. After that, it was pretty much, “Shut up and get to work. This is how it’s gonna be. I AM going to do all this, and you’re my guy. Move!”
So Moses gets going, albeit with quaking knees. He finally gets brave when his tormentors, his opposition, develop aqualung and wash up on the beach. NOW he finds his manhood and does a victory dance.
The same goes of the Children of Israel, although it took them a lot longer to get the hang of this faith thing. It isn’t long before they start griping about lack of food, lack of water. Like they didn’t see the same things Moses saw or walk through the waters behind Moses. They saw the pillars of smoke and fire lead them. They saw that cloud move behind them and keep the Egyptians at bay while they crossed the land bridge of Yam Suph into Arabia.
Fast forward to today. To me. To you. We are the Children of Israel. We ignore the miracles of this life and complain. We worry as they did. We don’t pay attention as they didn’t.
This is why I read Exodus and I can’t help seeing the flaws in everyone’s behavior. I see them, and I catch myself struck with the reality that I do the same things.
I’m alive today thanks to an improbable series of events that saved my life with a double-bypass. I ended up complaining to God that I was in another city without my doctors, my wife – everyone who was part of my support group. What I was too scared or stupid to realize was that I still had God, Who was evidently doing a really good job of getting me to the hospital and surgeon that were going to save my life.
Like Moses, I had my victory dance a bit late in the story. Like Moses, I forgot the power with which I was saved and later got back to complaining and worrying again.
Reading Moses’ story is my spiritual mirror to remind me of how I end up acting too.
But there is redemption from God. And love.
Deuteronomy Chapter 34
5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. 6 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished…
10 But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, 12 and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
God loved Moses. Even though he was banned from setting foot in The Promised Land, suffering the consequences for disobedience, God loved him and redeemed him.
Just like he does with each of us.
What do you think? Do you believe God loves and redeems you, even if you have to deal with earthly consequences? I and other readers want to know what you think!