1-17-2019 – e-News

A Note from Pastor Kenneth
Many of us know the ancient story of Moses: raised in the culture and comforts of Egypt, killed an Egyptian in anger, fled to the wilderness for his life, and lived there for 40 years watching over sheep. Then, one day, Moses runs into God within a burning bush. God gives Moses a remarkable command: “Go back to Egypt and free my people.”
Moses responds like any of us would: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). I can almost hear Moses’ thinking: “Lord, you want me to go to the most powerful nation in the world and demand that they release an entire nation of people that currently serve as slaves? I need more information.”
I love God’s response; it’s simple, direct, and pregnant with meaning: “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12). But this isn’t enough. Moses is unsure, has questions, and wants to know more: more of the game plan (What’s your name, Lord?), more assurances (What if they don’t believe me?), more flair (I need signs!), and more ability (I can’t speak well!). In short, Moses acts a lot like we do when faced with difficulties.
Moses soon goes to Egypt and, through the power of God, frees the people of Israel. Fast-forward 30 chapters of the Bible and we see God giving Moses the 10 Commandments. While Moses is on the mountain, Israel makes and worships a golden calf. God is not pleased. After a plague and lots of repentance, the people are preparing to continue their journey to the promised land. But God tells Moses that he will not go with the people; instead, God will send an angel to go with them (Exodus 33:2-3).
Read carefully the response of Moses: “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). Wow! Did you notice the change in Moses? In chapter 3, God’s presence wasn’t enough for Moses. He needed the extraordinary, as well as more assurances of how God would act. Now, God’s presence is all that matters to Moses! If God doesn’t go with Israel to the Promised Land, Moses doesn’t want to go. Moses doesn’t want an angel or any substitute; he wants God.
What about you? Do you seek after God or the stuff of this world? Do you hunger for God or for things that will bring you temporary pleasure? Do you want God or what God provides? Are there substitutes for God in your life? If God removed his presence from your life, would you notice?
I love the request of Moses in this same chapter: “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you” (Exodus 33:13). Let’s get to know God!
Serving God with you,
Pastor Kenneth
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