Calling on God to be God
“But I will not go up among you.” – Exodus 33: 1 – 6
While Moses was up on Mt. Sinai counseling with God, the people got a little anxious. They talked Aaron, who Moses left in charge, into letting them make a golden calf to worship and dance around before busting out in general debauchery. In today’s reading, God, having seen all this, tells Moses that he is done with this stiff-necked people. “That’s it, I’m outta here,” God tells Moses. “You go on, take them to the Promised Land, have a good time, but I’m done.”
If you’re the parent of a four-year-old, or a school teacher, or a pastor, or any of a number of things that have you working with people, I’ll bet you may be able to relate to how God is feeling here.
But then, Moses does a most remarkable thing. In the subsequent scene in the story (33: 12 – 17), Moses calls God to account. Moses says to God, “Consider that this nation is your people.” The unspoken here, in case you missed it, is “They aren’t my people. This wasn’t my idea. Remember that burning bush thing?” Moses calls upon God to be God. An incredibly courageous thing to do. Do you and I have the chutzpah, and the faith, to call on God to be God for us?
Lord, we truly understand that there are times you wish to give up on us. Don’t do it. We need you. Now more than ever. Come, be God here and now today in my life and in our church. Amen.
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul’s Letters to Timothy for a New Day. You can read Tony’s “Weekly Meditation” and “What’s Tony Thinking?” at his website, www.anthonybrobinson.com.