Nick Poindexter

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Tag: Exodus

Never Satisfied

And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
-Exodus 33:17-18 (NIV)

Think of all Moses had experienced up to this point… By the power of God, the man had confronted Pharaoh, the most powerful man on the planet, to release the Hebrew people. He had seen God unleash frogs, gnats, festering boils and other plagues on Egypt. Moses saw God split the Red Sea in two so the people of Israel could safely cross it while being pursued by the Egyptian army. He saw God miraculously rain food down from the skies and provide water from a rock. Then, of course, Moses climbed Mount Sinai and received the Ten Commandments directly from God.

Wow, what a life! Moses had personally seen God work in unimaginable ways. So later on when we find Moses again in Exodus 33, is he ready to exhale, kick back and call it a life?

No, not at all. In fact, Moses wants more. He demands to see God’s glory.

I think it’s sad how many modern-day Christians are the complete opposite of Moses. They have made a profession of faith. They probably read their Bibles and maybe even regularly attend church. But here’s the problem — that’s enough. They don’t see a need for anything more of God than what they currently have. A little bit of him sprinkled here and there is sufficient. Ultimately, they are satisfied.

Contentment generally isn’t a bad thing. But when we become fat, dumb and happy with God’s involvement in our lives, it is a horrible thing!

When was the last time you had the audacity to ask for something as big as seeing the very glory of God? If it’s been awhile, it’s probably because you are satisfied.

Are you that desperate for more of God? Or are you comfortable with what you’ve done and what you’ve got? Or allow me to ask it this way… If God never worked in a miraculous way in your life again, would you be OK with that?

The main difference between many of us and Moses is that he always craved more of God… His thirst couldn’t be quenched. He couldn’t get enough.

We were not made to say, “OK, I’m full… Thanks, God!” Rather, we were designed to plead, “God, keep pouring into me… Make my cup overflow!”

So ask to see God’s glory. Dare to have more of him.

And never be satisfied.

Accidental Idols

“Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!”
-Exodus 32:22-24 (NLT)

Picture the scene: Moses is on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments directly from God. What a moment! But when he returned from the mountain, he finds his brother Aaron leading the Israelites in worship of a golden calf statue! Can you imagine the disappointment and anger that must have instantly swept over Moses? Talk about a buzzkill.

And to make matters worse, Aaron tries to defend himself by saying that it was the Israelites’ fault. They are the evil ones… They were complaining… They brought their gold jewelry to me.

Then, he blurts out one of the most unintentionally hilarious lines in the Bible: “I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” Are you serious, Aaron?! Is that really the best you can do? C’mon… That’s simply pathetic. I can see Moses rolling his eyes and hanging his head in shame right now.

It’s extremely easy for us to point the finger and laugh at Aaron’s expense as we read this story. But unfortunately, it really hits home… Well, I wouldn’t have done THAT if so-and-so hadn’t done THIS! Ever heard that one before? Or how ’bout, Oh, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal… One thing lead to another and it kinda just happened! Oopsie!

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve used the Aaron cop-out, I’d be a very rich man.

Our rebellion against God is serious business. Whether you’re a leader or not, when sin occurs you’ve got to step up, take responsibility, learn from the mistake, and immediately change.

There’s no such thing as accidental idols.

I Am The Tabernacle

The Cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Glory of God filled The Dwelling. Moses couldn’t enter the Tent of Meeting because the Cloud was upon it, and the Glory of God filled The Dwelling.
-Exodus 40:34-35 (MSG)

For 7 consecutive chapters in Exodus, all we get are instructions of how to build the Tabernacle (or The Dwelling, as The Message refers to it) and it’s furnishings. Then, Aaron and the Israelites momentarily slip into idolatry. And to finish things up, we have 6 more chapters of the people following the instructions for the Tabernacle that Moses was given via God.

As as I read through the Tabernacle instructions, all I could think about was the endless list of specific measurements and requirements, down the the tiniest detail. It’s basically been day after day after day of nothing but gold, acacia wood, onyx stones, goats’ hair and dolphin skins.

Honestly, it seemed like God was really picky.

However, to end Exodus, Moses says that once completed, the glory of God filled the Tabernacle. He even goes as far to say that the glory of God was so powerful and so overwhelming that he couldn’t even enter the building. What a presence he must have felt.

Later on in the Bible, Solomon builds a Temple for God and we are told that it also was filled with God’s glory. Then, even farther along, Jesus rises from the dead and we are told that God’s tabernacle/temple, his dwelling on earth, the place he fills with his glory, has changed again. From now on the church is God’s tabernacle/temple. Not the physical church building per se, but rather the entire body of believers.

I can imagine God laying out the instructions for his “tabernacle/temple” now… This eye color, this height, this weight, this many hairs on their head, this future, this promise, this hope. If he cared so much about the minute details of his dwelling place then, why would we even question whether or not he cares about any of our concerns now? Does God not love us more than buildings? Of course he does, and maybe that’s the point.

God, thank you for caring for my smallest, most trivial details. Thank you for filling me with your glory. Thank you for the poignant reminder that I am the Tabernacle.

A Simple Stick

Moses objected, “They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, ‘God? Appear to him? Hardly!'”

So God said, “What’s that in your hand?” “A staff.”

“Throw it on the ground.” He threw it. It became a snake; Moses jumped back—fast!

God said to Moses, “Reach out and grab it by the tail.” He reached out and grabbed it—and he was holding his staff again. “That’s so they will trust that God appeared to you, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
-Exodus 4:1-5 (MSG)

A shepherd’s staff: a 3 to 6 foot wooden rod with a curved hook at the end. It was a like a Swiss Army Knife for shepherds, having a variety of uses like guiding sheep, balancing while walking and killing snakes.

It other words, it was a stick.

Here in Exodus, Moses was finding himself at a crossroads. Does he let God use him despite his overwhelming doubts, or does he cower, run away and hide?

Naturally, Moses was scared and objected. He felt like the piece of wood in his hand — your average, humdrum, run-of-the-mill shepherd. Definitely not the type of guy God would use. He didn’t feel worthy to do God’s amazing work, even when personally called to do it.

God, however, felt otherwise, and wanted to teach Moses an important lesson. He told him to take his shepherd’s staff, throw it on the ground, and watch it become a snake. Then he told him to pick it up and watch it turn back into his staff. And it happened. Incredible.

In other words, God was saying watch as I use a simple stick, something no one would expect, and watch something unbelievable happen.

God loves using the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.

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