God’s promise of love, forgiveness and renewal…

March 31, 2022

Exodus 32:7–14 | John 5:30–47  | Psalm 106:6–7,19–23

After reading the Exodus 32:7–14 lesson, I wondered for a few days as to what it all meant and if it made sense. At first glance, I saw one of the commandments being set, and maybe enforced? “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely.” Also, chronologically I was not quite sure if Moses had gone up the hill and gotten the tablets and distributed them yet. Plus, you know spreading the news to a crowd can be a time consuming task not to mention the accuracy of message. I mean that was probably the largest game of telephone… But going back to God he was pissed after witnessing what the people that were just brought out of hardship were up to. “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.”

I can’t say I blame him, I mean he set off so much mayhem and pestilence to get them out that he may have thought… “These ungrateful so and so’s, to keep my promise to their ancestors, I bring them out of Egypt to have a better life, I keep them safe in their journey, I feed them and what do they do as soon as they have some free time?…make a cow to worship… I mean come on…hmm maybe I just brought the wrong people out.” I personally could not blame God for feeling this way. This particular creation of God is a fickle group made up a large group of “What have you done for me lately?” or “I need more…” Yet in this mess a few people sprinkled throughout time serve as the standard bearers of what’s good and righteous. You know them, people the likes of Moses, Ghandi or MLK. These few can gather us into the right path and mediate on our behalf.

Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people” and thus he begun the argument for clemency for God’s imperfect children. In his cry he included a little public relations talking point…“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’?” Moses fought hard for his people even though I am sure he was disappointed in them. It is reminiscent of parents arguing about a child’s behavior…The strict parent and softy parent scene. (Full disclosure I am the softy). This is a learning situation for all and there are those times that you must side with the stricter, harsher side as there is a lesson to be learned, a consequence to be paid.

Yet even if we pay a price we quickly forget and at times go back to our old ways. I mean we can’t even be always true to the simplest commandment: “Love your neighbor…” But even though we can be hardheaded or “stiff necked” as God put it to Moses, we still manage to surprise ourselves and others with some of our kindnesses (wish this was habit forming) at least in the short term. All in all I am not quite sure why we are this way or why we diverge from the path and return to it just as briskly as when we left it. Unless this belief of mine is true… that somehow and sometime ago we rooted ourselves in God’s promise of love, forgiveness and renewal…

Geo Borgia