“Hound of Heaven” Meditations: 4. No!!!!!!!!!!! (2)
Ex 3:11 “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh”
This conversation between God and Moses is highly revealing and sheds light on what I see in myself and other people. Yesterday we started to examine Moses’ response when God spoke to him from the burning bush. This was the first time God had spoken to Moses or, to put it the other way round, the first time Moses had heard God speaking to him, and whether it was fear of the God of his forefathers, fear of the unknown, or fear of God confronting him with his life failures, it was fear. And fear makes us want to hide – like Adam and Eve did after the Fall (Gen 3:8-10) – so Moses hid his face.
But God carries on talking and is Moses first response to encountering God was, “No!!!!!” It gets worse as God shares His heart. He tells of His desire to go and set His people, Israel, free in Egypt – and He wants to use Moses. And Moses response is (in modern language), “You’ve got to be joking! I’m no great leader, great reformer, great deliverer. I’m a scruffy shepherd who has spent the last forty years in the wilderness. I now prefer sheep to people. I’m a nobody. I don’t rub shoulders with kings. No, you’ve got the wrong man!”
Well you won’t find all that there in the text but surely that is what is behind Moses words in our starter verse. You want me to go on this certain death mission? No!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wrong man, wrong day, wrong calling, wrong strategy!
Now we may not make quite such a meal of it as that but I have noticed that, so often, that is in fact how so many of us respond when God speaks visionary words over us. I have had the privilege of giving many personal prophetic words over many people over the years and so often when you hear, “Right, thanks,” you know they are the tip of the iceberg that says all these other things, and this is why God needs to be ‘the hound of heaven’, ever in pursuit of us. What is it, even in myself that grumbles back to God, “I can’t live this good life, I’ve tried and can’t do it!”? Again that is the tip of the iceberg of unbelief that we struggle with. Why? Because the effect of sin is not to believe. We may have been ‘born again’ but when the apostle Paul wrote, “count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God,” (Rom 6:11) and then in Rom 7 unpacks the struggle we so often have, so that only Jesus can enable us to overcome it (Rom 7:24,25), that is exactly what is going on so often – Jesus comes to help us overcome this offshoot of this sin-virus, this unbelief and, as I said just now, this is why God has to come as the ‘hound of heaven’ who will not give up His pursuit of us, because He knows exactly what we’re like and He WILL persevere with you and me!