Turn and Look!
“Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” God to Moses (Exodus 33:3)
Doesn’t THAT cause warm fuzzies! The word for stiff-necked are two words in the Hebrew, the latter is what we expect, neck. Yet stiff ‘qaseh’ means more than to be hard or intense. It is ‘a legal term conveying a very difficult case, in which the outcome could have life alternating consequences.’* Being stiff-necked limits our view, we are unable to turn our head from side to side; we only see what is in front of us. We get so focused, so determined on the promise – the end goal that we cannot see what God is doing to prepare us for the promise. (Read that again) God was in no hurry to fast track the folks to the promise, they weren’t ready. What should have taken just a few months to make the 240+ mile trek, took 40 years. They needed a higher degree of faith, and a learning skill of recognizing and asking for God’s hand BEFORE they faced the giants once they step foot in the promise land.
God did end up going with the people, Moses pleaded, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us from here… what else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” (vs 15-16) His Presence!
God is a covenant making and covenant keeping God, He WILL fulfill. But He needs to prepare us to receive His stuff. May we loosen our neck, yes keep our eyes on the promise, but not so tight as to miss God on the way. Taking the self attached blinders off – what we miss might have ‘life alternating consequences.’ What would have happened if Moses had not turned to look at the burning bush and continued on his way? “When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:4) Point to ponder.
May we turn to look.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
* Chaim Bentorah, Biblical Hebrew Studies