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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Go down, Moses!

The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ ” The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”  But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people. ~ Exodus 32:7-14

Moses had to sometimes feel exhausted from the duties God had given him. God would call him up to the mountain to talk, to order, to give the law.

And then send him back down the mountain to take care of business: to deal with a stiff-necked people who showed no gratitude for the God who had freed them, but instead chose to make themselves an idol to worship.

And in Moses' exhaustion, eventually he snapped.

Eventually he said: "Really, God?"

He reminded God of God's promises - and even reminded God how it would look if he ended up killing the very people he saved.

Do you ever want to challenge God when God exhausts you?

Do you ever want to ask God, "Why?"

Do you ever wonder where you fit in with God's promises?

God still calls us sometimes to "go down," or out, or up. And sometimes we might wonder why and want to challenge it.

And that's OK. Our prayer life is meant to be one of dialogue with God. Sometimes we need to ask. Sometimes we need to listen.

Always we need to be honest with our feelings - even those that make us angry. Even when we don't like what it is we think God wants us to do.

But after we've said our peace, we might just still need to be prepared for God to say: "Go or do anyway."

Dear God...I'm really upset about _________________. Help me out here, will you? Amen

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