In attempting to understand Moses’ life as a “comeback kid,” I tried to take an overview of the personalities and events as they’re reported in Exodus. I read the account of his life in several translations, relying primarily on Scripture. As I’ve reflected on what I read, it seems to me that God was working “behind the scenes” and “beneath the surface” in every phase of Moses’ life. But not in obvious ways. When Moses’ anger erupted like an angry volcano and spewed hot, murderous hatred out on that Egyptian guard that day, I expect almost all pundits would have considered him “finished.” Certainly so after he vanished from the stage of history and spent four decades in obscurity out at the edge of nowhere. FORTY YEARS! No doubt, around town folks wondered what ever became of “ole whasshisname.” Maybe they’d seen his mug shot in the post offfice or on a John Walsh program. But, for all intents and purposes, he was long gone and forgotten. By everyone except God, apparently. Even Moses may not have realized at the time that God had picked him for an assignment and was in process of getting him ready for the task.
God was there all the time. Unnoticed in the shadows, perhaps, but never absent. Long before Paul penned the comforting words contained in Romans 8:28, God was doing what He does best: caring for His own. Preparing and protecting them, and forcing even bad circumstances to serve good purposes.
Do you think it’s too much to believe He might be working in such ways in your life and mine. . . even today? For my part, I believe that’s a conclusion we could reach very logically and almost inevitably. God doesn’t throw us onto the rubbish pile of humanity because we make mistakes…even serious mistakes. His grace is greater than all our sin! (And that isn’t simply a beautiful sentiment from a beautiful Gospel song.)
I’ve had to make myself understand, though, that God doesn’t wear a chronograph (watch. I had to find a way to use that word somewhere!). He isn’t swayed by world events or public opinion. He is faithful to His children, even when they do not return the favor.
If I have any understanding at all of Scripture, these facts are clear to me: God has a place for you (and me.) He loves you (and me.) He has not kicked you off the team because you fumbled in an important game. Get those facts fixed firmly in your mind. Stop pouting. Stop doubting. Quit the blame and shame game. Stop rummaging in the moulded memories and mistakes of your past! I don’t mean to sound like a Dutch Uncle, but sometimes I’ve had to talk tough to my own self that way. God didn’t “fire” me; I failed when I simply “walked off the job” harshly judging and condemning my own self as being unworthy. I strayed away and stayed away too long. But, I’m back, and it is a tribute to the patience and love of God and the prayers of people who loved me and never gave up on me. . . even when I did!
Forgiven, and with faith restored, I’ve come to believe that if God “sets before me an open door, no man can close it.” When I fall, or feel I’ve failed, or been accidentally or unfairly knocked on my backside I need to stay there only long enough to catch my breath. Then get up and go back to serve!
MOSES CERTAINLY DID!!
God’s servant, your friend and fellow student ~donkimrey