Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Keep Doing Your Best, and Pray That It's Blessed

So this past weekend/beginning of the week has been an interesting one for me.....
Friday I decided spur of the moment to go backpacking, I chose Mt. Nebo since it was close and an easy hike. Well after checking in, paying five bucks plus tax (five bucks for a spot that you hike to......I mean really?) anyway I'm packing in, and about a mile, mile and half into it, I turn a corner on the trail, and I see smoke, and I think "the campsites aren't that close to the trail...." and it's a tree! A tree full fledge on fire! Right beside the trail! So I'm like, I should probably call the park office, so I did, and they were like thanks for calling we'll get someone on that. In after thought I forgot to take a picture for all of ya'll to see...it was pretty spectacular, aside from the whole "Wow the whole mountain is about to go up in flames" thought. So yeah, I went on around to my campsite, where I had two different park superintendents come and talk to me. Very interesting thing, reporting forest fires... So yeah camped out by myself all that fun stuff....

Saturday wasn't really too eventful....

Sunday I get out of church and the gas cap on my car was gone, I either left it at the gas station, or someone came and took it. So yeah, that night I saw a movie out at a local church, I came back and was going to write a note about some things and also about a chapter I'm reading in the book "unChristian" (speaking of which Read it! really it will grow you in so many ways, I'm just three chapters in, and it's worth me buying it just for Chapter 3) I got two paragraphs into the note and God was just like "no you aren't going to write this" and that was that.

So I go to sleep and I have to be at work at 6am Monday morning, well I set my alarm, but it didn't go off, why it didn't go off I don't know, but I woke up at 6:10 and was only thirty minutes late for work. But really just on top of all that it made for a really weird four days.

I say all this, because after my whole "burning tree" experience, I felt that before I went to sleep I should read Exodus 3 and 4, Moses encounter with God in the burning bush.

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."

4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
And Moses said, "Here I am."

5 "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." 6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

7 The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."

11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"

12 And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

13 Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"

14 God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

15 God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

16 "Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.'

18 "The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.' 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

21 "And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians."

Then Chapter 4

Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"

2 Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied.

3 The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 "This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you."

6 Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.

7 "Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

8 Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."

10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."

14 Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Let me go back to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive."
Jethro said, "Go, and I wish you well."

19 Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead." 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.

21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.' "

24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met {Moses} and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched {Moses'} feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said. 26 So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.)

27 The LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the desert to meet Moses." So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the LORD had sent him to say, and also about all the miraculous signs he had commanded him to perform.

29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Two entire chapters, that's the most I've done so far, anyway it will all come together.
So Moses sees this burning bush, now out there, where Moses is from, I know he didn't have the reaction I had, I mean first off he was on Jethro's land, and secondly it wasn't burning anything else, nor was it burning itself up. But seriously, think about what you would do if you saw a burning bush, you would flip right? I mean, I stay calm in most situations, like I did when I saw the tree, I looked at it, assessed that though it was burning pretty strong, that it wasn't burned enough that it would be falling over anytime soon, at which point I would have flipped, I would have been yelling at the lady and trying to figure out what I could use to did trenches around the fire.

Anyway enough about myself. So Moses starts talking to God through the bush. This is interesting because it's one of the few times, that God actually presents himself as an object for us to "see." So he tells Moses to take his sandals off because he's on Holy ground. Then he goes on to tell Moses what he expects him to do. What does Moses do? He questions God! Questions GOD! I mean honestly, you are talking to God, wouldn't you have enough fear of him that you would just say "Yes, Lord" and move on, but we see this with other important figures in the Bible also.

Genesis 32:22-30
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."
But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27 The man asked him, "What is your name?"
"Jacob," he answered.

28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, [a] because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."
But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, [b] saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

Jacob wrestles with God

So yeah, I mean really, why not just do what God wants?

So after God shows Moses all these signs, so Moses can "prove" God is real, He has told him what to say so that people will know it's the real God. Then after he complained that he couldn't speak, he brought forth his older brother.

God was seriously getting mad, I mean really, making God mad? Why can't you just trust Him, I mean really he's God, do you think he's just going to leave you hanging up there?

So then we have this interesting picture of Moses stopping for the night and God trying to kill him, now it's really interesting how {Moses} is put in there. The reason why it's done this way is because it is assumed that it is Moses spoken about here, the original Hebrew just says "his." What is thought of here, is that Moses son was not circumcised and in order for Moses to do work for God he must be circumcised, and since Moses knows that his son needs this, but hasn't done it God is going to kill him.

When I first read it, I missed the whole circumcision thing, and was like, wow Moses made him that mad! I mean, really if it was over Moses asking questions, why aren't we all dead? But this was about something greater than that.

But I mean really, why do we question God? We are told specifically that he is going to find someone else to do it, if we won't. But why would we not want to? It is an honor for us to be a part of his plan! When we are a part of God's plan we are storing up our rewards in heaven! Which is far greater than anything we can ever imagine

I say all this, and tell you all about my weekend, because, I really don't know how focused on him I was this weekend. And I wasn't really looking for what he wanted me to do, and I feel that that may perhaps be the reasoning for all the mishaps I encountered. So in summary, do as God directs, and you'll be on the right track.

"Just keep doing you best, and pray that it's blessed, Jesus will take care of the rest"

(Title from He'll Take Care of the Rest by Keith Green)

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