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  • Bob Burk

Lent Day 33

Scripture: Exodus 3:16-4:12

16"Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying: I have given heed to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 I declare that I will bring you up out of the misery of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.' 18 They will listen to your voice; and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; let us now go a three days' journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.' 19 I know, however, that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will perform in it; after that he will let you go. 21 I will bring this people into such favor with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will

not go empty-handed; 22 each woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman living in the neighbor's house for jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder the Egyptians."

1 Then Moses answered, "But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, 'The LORD did not appear to you.'"2 The LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A staff." 3 And he said, "Throw it on the ground." So he threw the staff on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses drew back from it. 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Reach out your hand, and seize it by the tail" - so he reached out his hand and grasped it, and it became a staff in his hand - 5 "so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you."

6 Again, the LORD said to him, "Put your hand inside your cloak." He put his hand into his cloak; and when he took it out, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. 7 Then God said, "Put your hand back into your cloak" - so he put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored like the rest of his body - 8 "If they will not believe you or heed the first sign, they may believe the second sign. 9 If they will not believe even these two signs or heed you, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground."

10But Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." 11 Then the LORD said to him, "Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak."


Today's Meditation: 

The story of Moses has so many lessons for us to learn, and today was no exception for me. In my morning devotion, Henry Nouwen was quoted with this challenge: “The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.” Moses had already been living in his own desert when the Lord asked him to take his people into a new one. Moses had to be terrified to try again to free his people. His last attempt by his own strength had been disastrous and resulted in 40 years in a desert. In this passage, he is trying very hard to convince the Lord that he was not the right one to lead, and the Lord reminds him who will really be leading. What deserts have you been in?

Grief, reproach, anger, fear,...? Our deserts are part of who we are and give us the gift of being able to reach out to others who are experiencing difficulties, to hopefully be a part of leading them out to a place that is less harsh. Like Moses, we need to remember that it’s not about what we can offer our friends but what God can offer them. Our “deserts” have prepared us to lead and it is the “neighbor Jesus has put in front of us”(Haddon Robinson) he has called us to love.


Prayer:

Father, I feel overwhelmed with the needs of others and don’t even know where to start. I am skeptical that I can help in any way. Help each one of us to be open to those you bring into our lives and to be willing to be the one you use to help them. It is through Your grace and love we have something to give. Amen


Gania Brown


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