Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Since Sunday I have been musing over a story in the OT. I can see the flannelgraph boards of my childhood displaying the narrative. The blue or black fuzzy background contrasting with the bright, colorful two deminsional pictures of Moses in flowing robes leading a mass of people. A paper cloud illustrating God's presence behind the walking hoard. Behind the cloud of God's presence was a long picture that took up 1/3 or more of the page. Bright reds and yellows of differing hues along with browns formed what was a picture of the armies of Pharoah. Pharoah was chasing his newly released slaves. Second thoughts had caused him to forget the cooling body of his oldest child, form his best calvary and chase the Israelites into the sands of the Negev desert. His goal, return the slaves to building great stone cities or slaughter an entire nation in the dry, hot plain of sand.

We all know how the story ends. Pharoah and his mighty chariots gummed in mud to the axles. Horses struggling against the muck to stand again while towering walls of congealed water liquify, crashing down on the whole slimy scene.

Moses had seen the entire day, talked to God, experienced the supernatural, enjoyed the triumph. But as a leader he was stilll learning. At the sound of the hoove beats and sight of a moving dust cloud the people had panicked. In front of their path was a large body of water. Behind was an angry monarch and thousands of soldiers. They were going to die! Now where to run away and hide. Moses and the people did what any rational person would do in the same place....cry out to the universe above for mercy. "Oh God, please help!", was just a sample of the words they ALL shouted in fear. Moses was confused. He knew God's plan, but in a moment of stress he went with a VERY human reaction. he stood. Quieted the fearfuil crowd and said, " Stand still!".

I have often thought that was a great response. Hey, in a time of stress and fear, stop everything. But God steps in at that moment. He says, "Moses, get the people up and move forward." The last few days that has struck me in the face like a cold slap. Moses, the great leader froze in a time of stress and confusion when God wanted him moving forward. It's been a lesson for me. The past two years I have been like Moses. Watching the confusion around me and desiring to see God do something. My first instinct has been to stop and wait. In the waiting and standing still there has been fear, depression, heartache, etc...

God is not a stand still kinda commodity. Everything about him moves. His words. His creation. His vision. His life. His planet. Dead things stand still. Living things move and change. God never wanted Moses and the Israelites to stop. He had told them to go to the Promised Land, that was in front of them, through, around or over the body of water HE placed in front of them. After they began to move they saw God do His great and glorious thing. After they moved they felt the dry ground under their feet. After they moved they danced. After they moved they sang. After they moved thier enemies vanished. Standing still may be great for worship, but in a time of challenge we need to keep moving.

No comments:

Post a Comment