God With Us

If I were a blogger I’d be a terrible one. I blog with zero consistency–not a good sign for a blogger.

Thank God I’m not a real blogger.

I sometimes write on this blog because I sometimes feel like have something stirring inside of me that I would like to say.

I’m not sure who I’m saying it to, but it sure seems like I think more clearly when I write it.

Not that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

For the past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about the interaction between God and Moses at the burning bush. The story is really incredible on a number of levels, but I’ve been lingering on a few words.

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land… (Exodus 3:7-8a)

The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. (Exodus 3:9-10)

when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain. (Exodus 3:12b)

I’ve really tried to imagine this scene. I can picture the celebration and excitement of Moses when God says HE has come down to deliver Israel. Notice how quickly that celebration and excitement turns to confusion and concern when God says MOSES will deliver Israel.

God: I have heard my people’s cry.

Moses: Yes! Finally!

God: I have come to deliver them.

Moses: Yes! It’s about time! It’s been 400 years! This is what I’ve always wanted! This is AWESOME!

God: You will deliver them.

Moses: What?! You just said YOU had come down to deliver them!

God: Yes, I will use you to do it.

Moses: No! This is a terrible idea! This is HORRIBLE!

Moses is just like the rest of us. He wants God to answer his prayers and to do something great, but he does not want to be the one God uses to answer his prayer.

Like all of us, when faced with something beyond his comfort level, Moses begins to doubt himself.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)

In other words, “What skills do I possess? I’m not the right guy for the job. Surely there is someone else who is better equipped!”

God’s answer seems to completely avoid Moses’ question.

He said, “I will be with you”

That’s God’s answer, or non-answer if you prefer. Look at the dialogue again.

Moses: Who am I that I should go?

God: I will be with you.

That’s God’s answer?

I will be with you.

Really?

God, you completely avoided the question. You didn’t answer anything about who I am. You said nothing about my skills or lack of skills. I’m not equipped for this.

From Moses’ perspective the question of identity seems most important. From God’s perspective the fact of his presence is all that matters.

As I write this, it is only a few days until Christmas. I’ve been thinking about these words…

Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

and…

“And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Jesus (Matthew 28:20b)

It’s easy to say Jesus is Lord.

It’s easy to forget Jesus is Emmanuel.

I need to remember that as I look at my situations, at my problems, that Jesus is Emmanuel. He is God with me in my situation. He is God with me and my problems.

Who am I is not the deciding factor in my situation or my problems. The deciding factor isĀ who I am with.

About these ads

2 thoughts on “God With Us

  1. “What if I saw my problems through the eyes of God instead of my own eyes?” I loved last night’s sermon. He is God with us, and if he is with us then our problems seen through his eyes and walked out with him turn into testaments of his greatness and love.

    • Came back to quote you correctly now that I have my notes. “am I going to see my problems through my eyes or through the eyes of God with me?” Still might be a little off, but I didn’t want to misquote you too much since a couple words can sometimes mean a lot! :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s