Tag Archives: Aaron

65: Excuses

65  fire-351185_1920 vonsi 46 pixabay

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 4:13 NIV

Before this last attempt to wriggle out of being God’s instrument, there are a number of others. Who am I to do this? Who shall I say sent me? What if they don’t believe me? What if they don’t believe me even with the miraculous signs? I can’t speak very well and am too slow. Finally, Moses runs out of excuses and says very honestly what he’s been trying to say for the whole encounter, actually Lord, I’d rather you sent someone else.

Don’t we all do this? Isn’t Moses so delightfully and frustratingly human? I admit, that, when attending charismatic churches, where they were very open to words and prophecies being shared, and when spaces were left for such things, I found myself sitting there wringing my hands and praying silently, please don’t ask me Lord, please don’t ask me. Some people are comfortable sharing and speaking publicly and some are terrified of it. Some missions sound frightening at first. But if the Lord is with us, we need not be afraid. I find he sends his peace where it really has no place to be if the calling is genuine, and we find we can walk into our destinies and callings unafraid, or at least, left without excuse!

For even though he runs out of ways to try to squirm free, the Lord is not angry with Moses until this last cowardly salvo. And even then, he has pre-empted Moses and the solution is on its way. Aaron is already coming to meet them. That means that God already knew all the objections Moses was going to have and had already countered them before they were spoken out. That should give us great encouragement! When we are the one who has noticed the strangeness of the burning bush that is not consumed by the fire, we are ready, and the Lord knows our fears and the doubts in our heart before he asks us to do something. Not only this, but he has already factored in the answers. We serve a mighty and caring God!

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

photo from Pixabay used under creative commons license.

 

 

55: Out of Control

54 out of control matthew_hull mf

 

Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.” Exodus 32:25

 

People without boundaries is generally not a pretty sight. The Israelites were in dire need of some rules, and Moses was about to give them just that. No wonder, when he saw what fools they were making of themselves, that he gave them quite so many! The ten commandments were just the beginning, and these straight from the Lord.

We tend to look at the rules as constricting things that limit our freedom, but God knows that too much freedom is a dangerous thing. If we do as please we generally end up like chickens loose on a motorway, running wild and causing mayhem. Similar to small children who push all the limits just to see how far they can go, to discover where the edges of acceptability are, we start out on our spiritual journey trying out the freedom that we imagine we have. But as Paul so wisely says, everything is permissible to me, but not everything is good for me (1 Corinthians 6:12). Rules are generally there for our good, and God’s rules created for that very purpose.

We moan endlessly today about the strenuous health and safety regulations we have to negotiate to get things done, but we forget that many people died or suffered terrible accidents before we had these laws to protect us. In the same way, people say they don’t want to suffer the restrictions of living out the discipline of a religious life. “We won’t have any fun!” is their very real concern. It is not until we know and understand that God is our loving parent, wanting us to come to no harm, that we start to see that the rules are there for our own benefit.

For when we do get out of control, it is rather like getting drunk – it’s stupid as well as dangerous. We can become a mockery. Our sex lives, which the mosaic law is so incredibly fussy about, are a good example. Out of control, giving in to every whim and fancy, means that we are prone to disease, heartbreak, a lack of emotional stability, and come to an overreliance on looks and pleasure that make us open to attack, coercion and abuse. If we live promiscuously we also miss out on the rewards of a monogamous, trusting and loving relationship that stays exclusive. Marriage is often hard work, but it bears great fruit, and a lasting love is something we all want and which does us tremendous good. The Lord knows this, because he made us that way, and he understand far better than we do the kind of harm that frivolous living and selfish ways do to us.

Left to our own devices we do laughable things. We do what we have specifically been told not to. Like teenagers left alone in the house for the first time, the Israelites perhaps do the inevitable equivalent of raiding the drinks cabinet, making a golden idol to worship. It’s foolish, it makes them a laughing stock, and Moses, like the weary parent arriving home, is furious, smashing God’s commandments. But rather than grounding, the day ends in a great amount of killing, for the Levites are commanded to punish the people by the sword and over three thousand are killed. This being out of control is clearly no laughing matter.

Thankfully, in Christ, every time we find ourselves out of control, we can turn back to the Lord and start over. Thank God that his mercies are indeed fresh every morning. We may never, in this lifetime, reach a point where we stop making stupid mistakes, nor can we always refrain from breaking the rules; but we can, by prayer and discipline, create good habits and begin to learn to walk in the Lord’s ways, trusting that he truly does know best.

We find perhaps, in the end, that our greatest freedoms are found within obedience, that the sheepfold is fenced for a reason and is the safest place for our Good Shepherd to guard us from wolves, and the best starting place for herding us in the right direction.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Morguefile.com