Relax and listen. Consciously prepare to hear God’s Word. Clear your mind of the worries and tasks that lie before you. Open your heart and allow it to refresh.
Exodus 33:1-6 (NRSV)
The LORD said to Moses, “Go, leave this place, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, and go to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, or I would consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments. For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.’” Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
There is a lot going on in these few verses. What strikes me most, and what I invite you to focus on is the way God as “events” shapes our identity.
Event: go to the land I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying to your descendants I will give it. (v. 1)
Event: I will send an angel before you and will drive out the Canaanites…all the “ites.” (v. 2)
God gave land, God sent an angel, God drove the inhabitants out to make way for the Hebrew people. God did. And God’s people were shaped by what God had done. Were they always faithful and obedient? Nope. But still, God did.
The events of our lives shape us too. And the event that most shapes us is God raising Jesus from the grave. That event shapes our identity.
Here in Exodus God reminds of what God has done, and God tells the people to “go,” to get moving (and yes, God is angry here, at their stiff-necked-ness – but that could be an Evotion for another day!). We too are called to go, to get moving, as a result of the events that shape us.
So think about it: what events have most shaped who you are? And how was God within the event, moving you to “go?”
Thank you, God, for the ways you have shaped my story. Open my eyes to see you at work around and within me. And give me the courage to get moving when you call me to. Amen
Go with God!