Running From the Answer
Moses saw a burning bush and when he turned to check it out God spoke to him. Pretty amazing - right? God called Moses into a special relationship with him and gave him a task and a purpose to be used in the salvation of his people. Moses had a concern...what if no one believed that he had actually received this mission from God. That is a pretty reasonable concern. When he vocalizes his concern God immediately provides a solution...and I think the result is kinda funny:
Exodus 4:1-3 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it.
I laughed picturing that as I read it this morning. I mean, Moses is talking to God and suddenly he is so afraid of a snake that he runs away from it. Did he yell and dive behind a nearby rock? How far did he run? Ultimately, that is not important. What is important is to see that we often respond the same way when God answers our prayers in a way that we don't expect or desire. We might be praying that God would use us...but when that really challenging person comes looking for help we run away. We might desire to draw closer to God...but when He tells us the key is to repent of a habitual sin we run away from Him rather than the sin. We might desire a loving relationship...but when He tells us that we need to get right with Him before we can have a joyful relationship with another person we run off looking for a shortcut or another way around. The good news is that Moses didn't run too far and when he came back God instructed him on how to make the snake/staff thing work...and He'll do the same for us as long as we run back to Him!