This week’s readings: Exodus 28-Leviticus 7
There is so much that I could write about this week…so much happened to the people of Israel…in fact, it reminds me of John when he closed the Gospel of John with these words:
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have enough room for the books that would be written.” (John 21: 25)
It is difficult to edit myself especially when there is so much material to write about…however, I have decided to just write about what grabbed my attention again when I read over my notes from this past week…something that reminded me of a personal situation of my own that relates to this past week…but in reverse.
My oldest daughter Carlen is now 18 and a senior in high school…when she was in the 4th grade, the Lord put upon my heart to begin a Moms In Touch group for our elementary school. At that time, it was probably one of the biggest leaps of faith that I had encountered…but God was faithful and so were the other women that met weekly to lift up our children, their teachers and our little school. God gave us such tremendous favor that first year…doors were opened that could only be by His hands.
The second year was faced with huge opposition…even recalling that time today fills my eyes with tears and my arms with goose bumps because it was devastating and intense. At the beginning of Carlen’s 5th grade year, a sweet girl in her class committed the unimaginable and she took her own life. I don’t even have to explain to you what this did to all of our lives…it was like a crystal vase being dropped from a high ledge…our little community was shattered. Carlen still bears the scars from that time…it was a deep wounding. My time table may be off slightly but a few weeks later, I was watching Carlen play basketball after-school and our other daughter Courtney was playing around in the gym with a friend…and she stood on the bench (of course, she had been told numerous times to stop) where all the spectators were sitting and she lost her balance and hit her head against a piece of metal…blood was everywhere and panic ensued…a multitude of stitches later and a few gray hairs for me…Then on a foggy morning, I pulled my minivan up to the front of the school, let both girls out of the car onto the sidewalk…waved goodbye…looked ahead…took my foot off my brake and as the car began to roll forward I heard a thud…stopping the car immediately, I got out and saw a young boy on the ground but before I could even respond…he jumped up immediately to his feet…initially I thought that I had run into him but in actuality he had run into my car,an impulsive little guy…thankfully he had only a few scraps and bruises.
As the six moms gathered for prayer the following Monday…we sat a bit dazed and confused…what was happening? Where was God in all of this?
On Sunday, my friend Kim, who was one of the praying moms, grabbed me by the hand during worship and took me to the back of the sanctuary where the elders were waiting to pray for others. She briefly explained what had transpired over such a short time and that she felt that not only was our group under spiritual attack but that the attacks were becoming more and more directed towards me as the leader. We were prayed for and he said he would provide a prayer covering for us but I will never forget what he also said…”Just imagine if you had not been praying?!”
I had never taken that perspective before…my mind had said…God, what is happening…we are calling out to You and how could you allow all of this to happen…WHY? It doesn’t make sense? Truly, it will never make sense to me but now I have been given new eyes that see that God can prevent and protect…He can allow and He can hinder…He can push fast forward and He can push pause…we only see what is before our eyes but we don’t know…can’t even fathom the underground work of the Father or in some cases the mountain top work…
How does this tie into what I read this week and you are probably wondering if I forgot that I said that I was going to edit myself better…so here goes!
“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” (Exodus 32: 1)
Vision: What our eyes see can get us in trouble…remember Eve…”when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (Genesis 3: 6)
When the Israelites saw with their own eyes that Moses was not coming down as quickly as they thought…they lost confidence and questioned their purpose…just what were we doing here anyway?
When I saw all these hard things happening around me and yet I had been praying…it was tempting to lose hope…abandon the ship…it was easy to ask myself…Umm, didn’t You tell me to start this group…things were better before we started…
Patience/Steadfastness/Endurance: The people saw that Moses was so long in coming…the Psalmist cries…How long Lord…how long…I cried…When Lord…when will we see the fulfillment of Your promises? The Israelite’s impatience led them to sin by making idols to serve as their gods…a whole generation of people would miss out on entering the land of milk and honey because they could not wait. I don’t want to miss God rolling out the red carpet of His accomplished promises to me…I want to wait patiently with expectancy.
Leadership: The people went to the second in command…Aaron. The wording “gathered around” leads me to think this was a bit of a mob mentality event…Aaron’s leadership was quickly usurped and he gave into the Israelite’s pleas.
When our vision is clouded make sure to seek earthly leadership that will steer in the direction of the Almighty God and not man made gods. How thankful I am that my friend led me to one that could tangibly give wise counsel and heartfelt prayers and petitions. I also want to make sure that when I am in the position of leadership that I seek the Lord and don’t act on impulse or because of peer pressure or trying to please man instead of God.
Live or Memorex: Moses had tarried and the Israelites needed someone to follow…someone to lead them…they realized their need but they unwisely chose a cheap substitute to the King of Kings. I need to be careful who and what I choose to follow…I want the real authentic God.
Fickle or Faithful: The Israelites called Moses “this fellow”…This fellow who had done mighty acts in God’s Name…who had been God’s mouthpiece and had lead them out of Egypt…he had been their visible leader and now he was just “this fellow”. Will we be faithful to the end? Will we serve Him with unswerving devotion no matter if we don’t see Him moving on our behalf? Will we give Him the honor and glory due His Name…reminding ourselves of past intervention when our vision becomes obscured by a cloud?
The Hidden Work: The Israelites didn’t know what had happened to Moses…I am sure there must have been some fear…they had seen lightning and a mountain engulfed in smoke and heard thunder and trumpets and the last glance they saw of Moses, he was approaching God in the thick darkness…what had happened to him indeed.
What the people didn’t know was hidden from them but was about to be revealed to them. God was writing His law upon stone and He was exacting the pattern of worship for His people. He was instructing Moses how He was going to dwell with the people…a loving God wanting to draw close to His people.
We can’t imagine or comprehend what God is doing beyond our view. How it broke my heart when I read this week of Moses throwing down the tablets of stone…ones that were the very work of God…the very writing of God’s fingers…when I exchange the fullness of God for a lie…it is like removing that which He has inscribed upon my heart and choosing to change the font. How God’s anger burned against His people…He had to physically remove Himself from their presence so He would not kill them…that my friends, is the age old definition of sin and it still continues to this day…how I never want to forfeit His presence!
Make us a people that do not grow weary in waiting on You. Help us to trust You and Your ways. Help us to not exchange You for false gods that can do nothing to save us.
Thank You Lord that You are so patient with us as we learn more and more about You and Your ways. We long to dwell with You…teach us to rest in You and finish well.
You deserve all the honor…all the glory…all the praise!
In Jesus’ Name,
“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you’
Your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.”
Isaiah 26: 8
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