Nick Poindexter

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Tag: Moses (page 1 of 2)

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.

Smash Your Nehushtans

[Hezekiah] did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan.
-2 Kings 18:3-4 (NLT)

Rewind a bit to the book of Numbers… The Israelites are becoming antsy with God and start complaining. God sends poisonous snakes their way, many of which bite and kill the people. They realize their mistake and beg Moses to do something. God then tells him to make a bronze snake, mount it on a pole, and anyone who looks at it will be healed. And it works.

I’m sure this bronze snake on a pole quickly became an important memento, if you will. To the Israelites, it was a constant remembrance of God’s provision, safety and presence.

The problem is, when it makes an appearance again in 2 Kings, the snake means something more to them. Now they are offering sacrifices to it. They even glorify it with a name — Nehushtan. This object that was originally used by God and was a reminder of God, was being worshiped as God. The bronze snake is now an idol.

It’s easy to read this story and mock the Israelites for their silly worship practices, but in reality, we’re just as guilty. Unfortunately there are still “Nehushtans” in the church today. Maybe you’ve heard these impassioned arguments before…

KJV or NIV? Traditional or contemporary? Sunday best or casual? Pews or chairs?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a certain version of the Bible or certain types of music. In fact, they’re good, wonderful things that steer us toward God. Just like the bronze snake on a pole.

Sadly, people will still fight tooth and nail over these idols. Why? Because like the Israelites, instead of utilizing them to point us to God, they become more important than God himself. Simply, these things were not intended to be worshiped, but rather to guide our worship. The problem is misdirected devotion.

Hezekiah was on to something. For the greater good of God, we all have to do a little housecleaning every now and then. And that may mean destroying some idols in our lives, even those whose beginnings were entirely holy.

It’s always best to smash your Nehushtans.

Right Here, Right Now

It made no difference whether the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for two days or a month or a year, as long as the Cloud was there, they were there. And when the Cloud went up, they got up and marched. They camped at God‘s command and they marched at God‘s command. They lived obediently by God‘s orders as delivered by Moses.
-Numbers 9:22-23 (MSG)

What a great thing it must have been for the Israelites to have God provide direction and guidance in the form of a cloud. If the cloud moved, they followed it. If it stopped and hovered, they stayed put.

If only it were that simple today.

I figure if there were a list of the top questions that Christians today ask God and wonder aloud, one of the most occurring has to be, “God, what do you want me to do with my life?” We desperately want to follow God’s plan for our future, but at the same time we are desperately confused. We are begging for a sign like the Israelites had to determine our next step.

I wonder if the problem might be that because we focus on the future so much, we miss the present entirely. We are so enamored with the NEXT that we completely overlook the NOW. Farsightedness versus nearsightedness, if you will.

If you notice with the Israelites, the verses note that the people stayed and marched at God’s command. They were ready and anxious to move onto the next place when God said so, but also were prepared to stop and direct their attention to that specific place when he said so. And it didn’t matter if it was a for a day, a month, or a year. If the cloud stayed, so did they. And right then and there is where their focus was until God said otherwise.

Sometimes we forget that we were put right here at this exact moment in time for a purpose. Sure, God may have an amazing, big move in the future for us. But if our “cloud” isn’t moving, neither should we, no matter how long it may stay in one place. Our focus should be on him and where he is staying or going, not the future direction we think is best.

You want to know your purpose? Ask God what he wants you to do right here, right now. Then, when he’s ready, you will be prepared to successfully take the next step too.

God Bless You

God spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the People of Israel. Say to them,
God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face and make you prosper.
-Numbers 6:22-26 (MSG)

God bless you.

We really throw that phrase around a lot, don’t we?

We write an e-mail and end it with the salutation, “God bless”. Someone sneezes, and we immediately reply, “Bless you”. I mean, do we really even know why we’re saying what we do, or has it all just become everyday jargon?

In chapter 6 of Numbers, God tells Moses specifically what Aaron is to say when blessing the Israelites. To be clear, we’re not talking about our modern day “blessing” here, but rather the real “God, I desperately want your divine favor to come upon this person” type of blessing. This is the real deal, and God breaks it down into 5 points:

  1. To protect
  2. To be pleased with
  3. To be gracious to
  4. To show approval of
  5. To give success to

Wow. Maybe it’s just me, but reading that gives “God bless you” a whole lot more meaning. That little phrase that we spit out daily is literally packed with power.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to say “Bless you” when someone sneezes, but it’s clear here that God takes the idea of a blessing seriously. So seriously, that he laid it out word for word, line for line, to guarantee that all the bases were covered, intentions were pure, and the speaker understood its significance.

God, help me to demonstrate encouragement and your love through genuine blessing of others.

And selfishly, may God bless me.

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