Monday, December 4, 2017

From Timidity to Worship

Moses... a name we equate with a man who did mighty things for God, but it didn't begin this way. 

While Moses was tending his father-in-law's flocks, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames from fire within a bush. EXODUS 3:1-2

The Lord said: “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” 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.” EXODUS 3:12

Then timidity set in... 

And questions of doubt seemed to fill Moses' mind. I can just imagine his demeanor as he asked God these questions: 

  • 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 say to them? EXODUS 3:13
  • What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you?'  EXODUS 4:1

And excuses set in...

  • Pardon your servant, 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. EXODUS 4:10
  • Please send someone else.  EXODUS 4:13

By the time we get to chapter 14, the LORD had cleared every obstacle for his people to be set free and Moses was transformed from one full of fear to one who was full of faith with a heart of worship.  When the people were grumbling out of fear, Moses said: 

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.  EXODUS 14:13-14

As the nation of Israel crossed through the Red Sea, the LORD held back the waters. Once they were on the other side, with the Egyptian army in the middle of the riverbed, the LORD released the waters and swept the army into the sea. 

The response...WORSHIP!

Moses and Miriam led the Israelites in their first act of worship as a free nation: 

“I will sing to the Lord,
    for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
    he has hurled into the sea.
“The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a warrior;
    the Lord is his name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army
    he has hurled into the sea.
The best of Pharaoh’s officers
    are drowned in the Red Sea.
The deep waters have covered them;
    they sank to the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, Lord,
    was majestic in power.
Your right hand, Lord,
    shattered the enemy.
“In the greatness of your majesty
    you threw down those who opposed you.
You unleashed your burning anger;
    it consumed them like stubble.
By the blast of your nostrils
    the waters piled up.
The surging waters stood up like a wall;
    the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy boasted,
    ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them.
I will divide the spoils;
    I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword
    and my hand will destroy them.’
But you blew with your breath,
    and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
    in the mighty waters.
Who among the gods
    is like you, Lord?
Who is like you—
    majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
    working wonders?
“You stretch out your right hand,
    and the earth swallows your enemies.
In your unfailing love you will lead
    the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
    to your holy dwelling.
The nations will hear and tremble;
    anguish will grip the people of Philistia.
The chiefs of Edom will be terrified,
    the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling,
the people of Canaan will melt away;
    terror and dread will fall on them.
By the power of your arm
    they will be as still as a stone—
until your people pass by, Lord,
    until the people you bought pass by.
You will bring them in and plant them
    on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling,
    the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established.
“The Lord reigns

    for ever and ever.”  EXODUS 15:1-18

Where might you need to trust the LORD today?  What doubts and fears are holding you back from taking a step of faith forward?

The LORD desires your heart to be filled with worship, not timidity and fear!

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

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