Try to get into Moses’ place as he is processing this encounter.
First was an oddity of the bush that does not burn up. The low energy curiosity about the bush caused him to move toward it. Then God spoke to Him audibly and shocked him. (Factor in a major adrenaline rush).
While Moses was trying to process the experience of being in the presence of THE Almighty, God framed the encounter around His relationship with the whole Hebrew tribe.
Now this would have been a jolt. In many ways, Moses had emotionally left the Hebrew tribe. He was living under the auspices of a Midianite priest and had married into his family, integrating with his culture and economy. The fact that he had not circumcised his sons indicated that he was now more Midianite in mindset than Hebrew.
Suddenly with no ramp up, God informed him that the last 40 years of Moses’ Midianite assimilation were essentially not relevant to heaven’s perspective of him. In God’s eyes, Moses was a Hebrew, intimately connected to the pain of the Hebrews which he had never experienced directly, he was woven into the prayers of the Hebrews which he had not been praying for the last 40 years and he would be a partial beneficiary of the attention of God toward the Hebrews.
It took me about 45 seconds to read God’s comments to Moses. The Hebrew language is much more economical than English, so it could have been as little as 30 seconds in the original encounter.
In 30 seconds, Moses had intellectual and emotional whiplash as God engaged him in an unprecedented manner and unambiguously reframed one half of Moses’ life.
While He was quite destabilized by that barrage, God kicked it up a notch.
“You are my solution to that problem.”
Just like that.
It wasn’t really so abrupt. Not in reality. In Moses’ mind, maybe, but not in God’s reality.
You see, God had designed Moses before the foundation of the world for this task. God inserted him into time and space at the right time in history. God supervised his live birth, watched over his early days, arranged for him to be effectively transferred to the Egyptian palace for the superlative education that would be needed to write the Pentateuch.
God awakened the passion in him to champion his people and gave him an opportunity to do so in the brickyard.
While God did not condone the murder, He was not derailed by the incident. Moses was transferred by God’s intent to the region around Mount Sinai so he could continue his education. Here the coursework was about thriving in the desert. It was a massive topic so God allocated 40 years to get the job done.
In the mind of God, this was simply the next step in a carefully planned and precisely executed project dating back to before creation.
The fact that this was a surprise and a jolt to Moses is simply an expression of Moses’ being out of touch with reality. He had heavily weighted the wrong pieces of data. He well knew about his birth and all the related drama. He knew his heart’s desire. However, he devalued that data and put maximum weight on his own wrong choices, not on God’s investment in him. Consequently, when Moses crunched the numbers, he decided he was washed up.
When God weighted the same data correctly and crunched the numbers, Moses was THE MAN, and it was time to schedule some action.
This is the relentless battle between God and man. We so often focus primarily on our journey as an expression of our worth or our fit for a particular task. By contrast, God focuses on original design. He factors in our journey, and at times our journey does disqualify us from walking in our design. But foundationally, God starts the discussion with our design and aches to see us fulfill the calling for which we were designed.
Copyright September 2015 by Arthur Burk
From Pretoria, while attending the social entrepreneur’s conference