Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I didn't sign up for this!
Yes he did. When he was 40 years old. Self confident. Brash. Pampered. The best education. The best food. The best military training. The best of everything.
He stepped in and single handedly was judge, jury and executioner. (Not that they had our system of justice back then!)
The result was that he was banished from the land - hunted and with a criminal record.
Did Moses choose to be the leader of the Hebrews?
No he did not! Now he is 80 years old. He has been gnawing on sheep leg for food, with the odd bit of desert thicket for greens. He has no visions of grandeur, no grand plan, no confidence in himself or his abilities.
God meets him, tells him he is to lead the people, and almost has to force him into the leadership role.
He has weathered the amazing journey out of slavery into freedom.
Now God directs him back into an isthmus where they camp. And Pharoah and all his army are fast approaching. And they have no escape.
1 "Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses: 2 “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. 3 Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ 4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you.[e] I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!” So the Israelites camped there as they were told.
The Egyptians Pursue Israel
5 When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. 6 So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. 7 He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. 9 The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, 11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
The people immediately turn on Moses.
I love his answer: Don't be afraid. God will come through.
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?"
Moses had his game face on for the masses. Then he got on his knees and said, "God, help!"
If you have been in leadership, that is a sequence which is probably familiar to you!
And you might be saying to yourself, "I didn't sign up for this!!!"