Exodus 33: Moses meets with God and the whole entrance into the Promised Land is up for grabs. God says He’ll make a nation from scratch out of Moses – scrap Israel and start over.
How do you respond to that? A giant “do over” is a golden ticket.
I would have been tempted, not just to have my name attached, but also the practicality of it all. Hey, this has not been working very well, let’s start over. It would have been a pretty rational move on Moses’ part to take God up on his offer. Same mission, new name. Go.
Moses somehow manages to see bigger issues than mission completion or that his legacy at stake. It was about God and His glory. God’s reputation was always the primary end, and how His mission was accomplished was more important than attaining the Promised Land itself.
Moses is totally dialed in. But, to add another layer to it all, God had said He will bring His people in safely to the Land, and will route the enemies of Israel. And that He will send an angel ahead of them to get the work done. On that one alone, I’m probably fine with God’s plan. I’d take a promise of victory with a militant angel running point. But God says He won’t be going with them. I wonder, would I have missed God’s caveat if I had been there. (Victory without God’s presence?
Hmm, surely God must know what He is offering. It is His idea, after all. Take the angel and the land, and call it “a deal.”
But Moses doesn’t shake hands on it. God’s presence is the main thing. “Show me Thy ways…may your presence go with us…Show me Thy glory.” The clear and unmistakable presence of God was what Moses was all about. Try leadership without God’s presence and you are left with strategy, large group maneuvering, and motivation, or maybe just manipulation. For Moses, that was not going to fly.
He made the right choice.
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