One of the problems with daily life is how it gets us off the track of our daily walk. Our Creator wants to walk with us in His garden in the cool of the day. But, often, our needs and tasks of a day keep us from such walks. We’re busy, and often too busy for our Creator.
Of course, there are times, rare precious times, when our Creator no longer waits for the walks to be our idea, and He invades our day:
Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, “ I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:1 — 4 NASB)
Moses is in the wilderness, shepherding sheep. He used to walk the halls of Pharaoh’s palace, and ride chariots. He even tried to help his people once, but only once, which nearly cost him his life. Now, he’s on the run from his grandfather who wants to kill him, sojourning among a strange people. But he’s started a family, he’s making a good life of it here, he’s accepted his circumstances. Of course now Yahweh intervenes in his life, wants to disrupt everything, and is concerned for the Hebrews. Where was He 40 years ago?
You’ve never been there? You’ve never felt like a foreigner in a foreign land? Never tried to make the best of your circumstances by settling in for the duration? Never figured resistance was fruitless? That’s truly a shame. Because we’re all strangers in a strange land. And some of us have settled in for the duration. It’s probably the other people at your church, not you. In many ways it’s me. If it’s not you, you are free to move on to the next blog.
I tell people my occupation when I asked who I am. The truth is, actually, I am different than my occupation. Hopefully, that’s true for you as well. I’m a theologian and teacher. I am those things because my Creator has called me and designed me for those things. Moses was a deliverer of the Hebrews because that’s what his Creator created him for. Who are you?
Like me, you may be in dire need of a distracting bush fire. At first, it will seem disruptive. People, probably your family, will consider you an idiot for being distracted. There will be pressure to go back to settling in for the duration. And yet, the Creator calls, once He notices that He has your attention. “Moses, Moses!” The question, the challenge, before us is, at that point, will we respond as Moses, saying, “Behold, I!” When you say it, bowing on the ground, it feels different than it does reading it. It seems odd, until you try it. Almost all translations have, “Here I am!” And that’s weird enough. Try the Hebrew idiom, though, and try it from the position of bowing face down on the floor. It’s still weird, but somehow right.
What will we do? How will we respond? Do you see the bush on fire? Are you distracted enough to check it out? Do you hear the voice, calling your name? The choice is there, right there: continue making the best of a bad situation, or turn aside to the created purpose. Will we be what we were designed for, or will we continue to be strangers, making our way in a strange land?