Moses said to the Lord, ‘See, you have said to me, “Bring up this people”; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, “I know you by name, and you have also found favour in my sight.” Now if I have found favour in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favour in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.’ He said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ And he said to him, ‘If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favour in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.’
The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favour in my sight, and I know you by name.’ Moses said, ‘Show me your glory, I pray.’ And he said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, “The Lord”; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Reflection by Janet Derby
We went to our grandson’s soccer game this past weekend and I was very disturbed by the attitudes of the coaches and parents. I am often bothered at sporting events by the verbal attacks on the referees, but this game was worse than any other I have attended this year. The referee finally had to eject one of the coaches. I learned later that the opposing team had stood by the exit and yelled at our players as they left the stadium. It seemed to be one more sign of the tribalistic climate that exists in our country. There seems to be no way to end the escalation of it.
It appears to me that Moses had every reason to throw up his hands and abandon the people he was leading. They complained to him consistently, blaming him for every discomfort. Yet, he pleads to God on their behalf. God is gracious (when again there is every reason not to) and shows that the broken covenantal relationship can be restored. Let us pray that we can find the grace to repair a world that is fractured.
Gracious God, our world is suffering and conflicted. Help us to follow the example of Moses and be compassionate to others, even those with whom we disagree. Amen.