“Hound of Heaven” Meditations: 8. But….
Ex 4:13,14 “Please send someone else.” Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses”
There are some aspects of this idea of the Lord being the ‘Hound of Heaven’ that are not so comfortable. It may be nice to think of Him pursuing us to help us get to the destination we struggle to believe in (us being gloriously transformed even before we leave this earth), but there is something about who God is that is more disconcerting: He doesn’t accept failure.
Now look at that statement some more. If you read Ex 3 & 4 you find a long conversation between God and Moses in which again and again Moses is making the case that he’s not up to the things God is talking about – and he’s got good reasons to think these things. But the thing is that Moses – at this point at least – doesn’t really know God. So far, according to the absence of record, he hasn’t had any experience of God. No doubt he has learnt things about him as he had learnt about his own people while he lived back in Egypt, but it didn’t go beyond that.
And there is a lesson inherent in that: we can only know about God until we encounter Him. Up until that point it is all of academic interest and no more. But then we find questions arising, challenges being brought as the Gospel is unfolded before us and conviction comes. We surrender and then we encounter Him and His Spirit comes and we are born again and then we start on a completely new plane: the plane of experiencing Him. And as the years go by (and it needs years) we start to learn things of Him and of His expectations of us, and all the time He is pursuing us to get us to the better place than today. It is always that – He wants tomorrow to be a better day than today; He wants us to learn more tomorrow than we know or experience today. I think that is the reason I look back so often with a sense of failure, because I know and understand more today than I did say ten years ago.
So in C.S.Lewis’s Aslan terms, at this point in the conversation He growls. Have you read the Narnia stories? Do you remember the conversation: “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”? The ‘Hound’ who pursues us is the Lord of Lords, King of Kings and we argue with Him at our peril. That we need to remember because He is the One who knows all things, knows us and DOES know what we can achieve with His enabling and His guiding. If we keep on making excuses, He loves us so much, and wants so much to get us to that better place, that eventually we may just hear the growl that, translated, says, “Enough!”