January 21, 2021
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Exodus 3:11-12
Movies are a favored form of entertainment in our family. Because the Bible has often been a source of inspiration for literature and the arts, I wasn’t surprised to discover that movies about Moses date back to 1903. Moses is purported to have lived 120 years and his adventures have inspired writers and filmmakers for almost that long.
The vividly dramatic Moses stories have entertained everyone from Sunday school students to Ridley Scott movie audiences. Moses himself is the quintessential mild-mannered hero—a foundling who confronts the rulers of Egypt, performs miracles, and liberates his people. And while the spectacle of Moses parting the Red Sea or receiving the law on Mount Sinai translates well to a big screen, it’s the dialogue in Exodus 3:11-12 that has captured and held my attention.
Imagine an intimate discussion between Moses and God. Moses protests that he is not worthy or capable of carrying out the task that God has set before him. Does God say, “You are the perfect man for the job, Moses,” or “Don’t worry, Moses, you will defeat Pharaoh”? No. In fact, God does not mention Moses at all in his reassurances. Instead, his answer is God-centered. “I will be with you.” That’s it. And that’s everything. “I will be with you.”
I’ve heard it said that it’s inconceivable that God would ask something of us and then leave us to our own devices. If we are called to further God’s kingdom in the midst of uncertainty and pandemic, we have only to look to Moses’s example to know that, a) it’s not about us; and b) we won’t be doing it alone.
Heavenly Father, thank you for going ahead of us into this New Year. Let your presence give us the strength and the will to do whatever comes next. Amen