But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” Exodus 3:12
Does this bother anyone else? Do you notice the glaring issue here? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m reading into it too much, but I don’t think so.
Moses protests God’s call for him to go and lead Israel out of its slavery and Moses objects. Not at the notion of freeing the Israelites, he objects at the idea of leading the charge. He doesn’t feel adequate. God’s answer is both brilliant and frustrating.
God replies with, “I will be with you.”
These are great words. These are encouraging words and I could go on and on about them if it weren’t for what’s distracting me. This isn’t all God says…
“And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”
And this is your sign…Great! I like signs! I like proof! Tangible guarantees are always welcome…when you have brought the people out…wait, is that a sign? That’s not what I think of when I think of a sign. That’s definitely not what I want when I am being called to do something scary or difficult. I want a sign like Gideon gets in Judges 6. I want a miracle, or a voice, or an arrow of some kind pointing the way before I go about doing whatever it is I’m going to be doing.
But God calls this a sign when it’s an after the fact event? I don’t like it.
Granted in Exodus 4 God does give Moses a couple of other signs. Primarily because Moses just keeps arguing (we’ll get into that in the days to come), but I was struck this morning by God’s intention to not give Moses a sign until after he had obeyed.
I don’t like this, but I do know this. It would be great to always get signs from God about the choices we are going to make. It would be easier if God would always do something miraculous to make everything clear before we start moving. The fact is this isn’t usually how he does things. Or maybe I should clarify. Usually the biggest sign we get from God is the calling itself. The burden on our hearts, the constant heaviness of mind, the compelling sense that we should go in a certain direction and do a certain thing. The praying that only leads to more certainty within that this is the right path. These are often the best signs we get…until we are on the other side.
When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this very mountain.
Following God is a life filled with living by faith. We don’t have the luxury of a whole lot of sings. Sometimes the only sign we will get is the “You are here” at the end of it all. Instead we get promises: promises of the connections with God to come. Promises of the fact that God will be with us. Promises that he will guide our steps, light our path, and have more than enough grace for all our short-comings. And promises from God sometimes have to be enough. This is a life of faith after all. Trust in our Caller is sometimes all we have for ensuring that we will see the sign…on the other side.
For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” 2 Corinthians 1:20
*arrow on the road photo by sardinelly