Last week I spoke with how God wants to be in relationship with us. That
there is open dialogue, give and take, forgiveness and love. That Moses even
changes God’s mind. One of the mistakes that we might make after hearing that
sermon is to think then that God is just like us as humans. That there is
nothing particularly awe-inspiring about God.
Today’s passage in Exodus remedies that situation. Moses continues to be in
relationship in God – they continue to be in dialogue, the give and take is
still there, as are the forgiveness and love; but it is clear that this is by
no means a relationship of two equals. Moses is still very much human, and God
is still very much a power beyond understanding.
You see, Moses craves to see God. In other words he wants to know God more
fully and more personally. He wants God to reveal all that God is, but God
knows that Moses can’t handle that. For him to experience God that completely
would destroy him. So God consents to let Moses catch a glimpse of him as he
Many of us also crave what Moses craves – we want to see God more fully. We
want to experience God’s presence.
In an article Making It Personal Rabbi
Adam Morris captures this really well! “The “evidence” of divinity may be all
around us, but we human beings are wired to want to know God “personally.” We
want God to speak to us as we speak to one another. We want to calculate God’s
effect in our world the way we calculate the balance of our bank accounts. We
want to be able to invoke God’s presence in the same manner that we can access
the piece of news, information, podcast, at a moment’s notice. The story of
Moses seeking to see God’s glory (Exodus 33) is part of the Jewish sacred story
because it captures the inherent challenge in establishing a personal
relationship with God.”
What it shows us is that although we desire to see God, God is bigger than
we can handle. We want to know God like we know another person, but that simply
is not possible. God is not another person, God is the creator of all that is.
That kind of power is truly beyond our comprehension. And yet even though God
is so powerful, even though God is so far beyond us, God still wants to be
close to us, to know us, and for us to know God. It is a great dilemma of faith
– how can we be close to one so beyond us?
There are a couple of theological words that can be helpful for us in this:
immanence and transcendence. Immanence is the idea that God is immanent –
the official definition is that the Divine presence permeates the material
world, that God is here, that God is within us, close to us, in fact, that God
is always with us. It is the idea that there are many ways that God is like us.
God is like a father, God is like a friend, God is like a neighbor, a
counselor, a mother holding us when we are afraid. We need to know the
immanence of God. That’s what Moses is asking for here today. “Let me see your
But God’s answer is that although God is willing to be there, God is also
Transcendent. The official definition is that there are aspects of the Divine
that are beyond the material universe,
beyond physical laws, separate from our physical universe. Transcendence is
the idea that God is beyond us, is greater than us. It is a reminder that God
is unlike us, not only outside of our experience, but outside of the entire
universe’s experience. There is nothing in nature that is quite like God.
So although Moses wants to see God. That simply isn’t completely possible.
Not only can we not handle seeing God, the universe itself cannot contain God.
I know that this is very philosophical. But it is vital for us to understand,
even if we don’t completely get it, that God is like us, within us, and close
to us in some ways. But at the same time God is far beyond anything we
can understand, unlike anything we have ever experienced, mysterious and
Perhaps it is like our experience of the sun. We know and experience the
sun through the light and the heat that it gives us. We know that it is
absolutely vital to our lives and everything depends upon it.
We sometimes crave sitting in its light, absorbing its warmth, feeling it
upon our skin. We even want to know more about it, and are curious when things
like eclipses take place. Yet, despite our desire to look directly at it, we
cannot without harming our eyes. Because as much as we know that the sun is
part of all that happens in our world, we also know that we could not stand
next to it without being consumed in its fire. It is much more than a heat
Of course, God is not the sun. My comparison is just a weak attempt to
explain how something can be close to us, part of us, and yet beyond us at the
same time. So that is the dilemma of faith. How can we get closer to the one
who made us? How can we see God more clearly and completely?
St. Anselm in his great treatise on God, in the very first chapter writes
this: “Be it mine to look up to your light, even from afar, even from the
depths. Teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to me, when I seek you, for I
cannot seek you, except you teach me, nor find you, except you reveal yourself.
Let me seek you in longing, let me long for you in seeking; let me find you in
love, and love you in finding. Lord, I acknowledge and I thank you that you
have created me in this your image, in order that I may be mindful of you, may
conceive of you, and love you; but that image has been so consumed and wasted
away by vices, and obscured by the smoke of wrong‑doing, that it cannot achieve that
for which it was made, except you renew it, and create it anew. I do not
endeavor, O Lord, to penetrate your sublimity, for in no wise do I compare my
understanding with that; but I long to understand in some degree your truth,
which my heart believes and loves.”
Anselm captures strongly the difficulty of wanting to see God, and yet
knowing that as humans, partly because we are sinful, partly because we simply
are not wise enough to handle it, we are limited in our ability to see God. We
are in the image of God, but we are not God. He also reminds us that, although
we cannot find God, although we cannot see God, God can find us, teach us, God
can reveal Godself to us.
So here is the amazing thing that happens in this scripture. Although God
is so beyond us, God wants to grant Moses his wish. God wants to satisfy his
desire to see God’s glorious presence. In fact, God wants all of us to be able
to encounter God and draw close to God. This is part of the grace of God.
song captured that well for me. You can sing along if you like, or just read
and meditate on the words and pictures.
And so God often grants us fleeting glimpses of Godself. We may catch a
glimpse of God in nature, or in the compassionate actions of another person, in
a spiritual moment while we are in prayer, or in a dream while we are asleep. Even
Jesus is just a glimpse of God, the embodiment of God in a human form, as much
as God can be contained by such.
Each of these glimpses is meant to help satisfy what we crave, that meeting
with God, while also reminding us that God is far beyond us and bigger than we
can ever capture with our smart-phone camera.
What this means in our personal spiritual lives is that God is willing to
bless us with glimpses of God. But it also means that those glimpses may never
quite satisfy us. There will always be mystery in God. It means that while we
want a personal relationship with God, and God in some ways grants it, that
relationship is one between the Creator of all that is, and one of the
creations. It is not a relationship of equals, but despite that, it is a
relationship of love. Love that wants dialogue, give and take, obedience and
forgiveness. And that is complex, hard to explain, and yet wonderful to be part
of every day!
As Rabbi Adam Morris says, “The Divine Being, regardless of its power and
presence in your personal world, is still as mysterious and elusive as the
Israelites found it.” And quite honestly, that is exactly what I would expect
from God: to be like me, and yet to be beyond me, and that makes me love and
awe God even more.
Relationship. According to the dictionary: The word means the way in which
two or more concepts, objects or people are connected. The way in which two or
more people or organizations regard and behave toward each other. Relationship
can be a good way of interacting, it can be a bad way of interacting. But let’s
just focus on the good relationships for a moment. If I were to ask you what
the elements of a good relationship are? What makes it so that two people can
live together well, work together well? [open it up]
In today’s passage there are all sorts of relationships. There are good
ones, there are not so good ones. First let me read it, and listen for the
relationships. This is Exodus 32:1-14
The people saw that Moses was taking
a long time to come down from the mountain. They gathered around Aaron and said
to him, “Come on! Make us gods who can lead us. As for this man Moses who
brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t have a clue what has happened
Aaron said to them, “All right, take
out the gold rings from the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters,
and bring them to me.” So all the people took out the gold rings from their
ears and brought them to Aaron. He collected them and tied them up in a cloth.
Then he made a metal image of a bull calf, and the people declared, “These are
your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
When Aaron saw this, he built an
altar in front of the calf. Then Aaron announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival
to the Lord!” They got up early the next day and offered up entirely burned
offerings and brought well-being sacrifices. The people sat down to eat and
drink and then got up to celebrate.
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Hurry up
and go down! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, are
ruining everything! They’ve already abandoned the path that I commanded. They
have made a metal bull calf for themselves. They’ve bowed down to it and
offered sacrifices to it and declared, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who
brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” The Lord said to Moses, “I’ve been
watching these people, and I’ve seen how stubborn they are. Now leave me alone!
Let my fury burn and devour them. Then I’ll make a great nation out of you.”
But Moses pleaded with the Lord his
God, “Lord, why does your fury burn against your own people, whom you brought
out of the land of Egypt with great power and amazing force? Why should the
Egyptians say, ‘He had an evil plan to take the people out and kill them in the
mountains and so wipe them off the earth’? Calm down your fierce anger. Change
your mind about doing terrible things to your own people. Remember Abraham,
Isaac, and Israel, your servants, whom you yourself promised, ‘I’ll make your
descendants as many as the stars in the sky. And I’ve promised to give your
descendants this whole land to possess for all time.’” Then the Lord changed
his mind about the terrible things he said he would do to his people.
Listening for the relationship is a different way of listening to this
passage isn’t it. There are four basic characters. Moses, the people of Israel,
Aaron and God. Tim Scorer, a spiritual director, educator and author takes time
to talk about the human characters of the story, and how and when we might see
ourselves like them.
For example, we might feel like Moses when we have to entrust our
responsibilities to someone else when we go away.
We might feel like Moses when we have to clean up the mess that happens
when we are gone. Or when we have to intervene with authorities on behalf of
those we love, as Moses intervenes for the people with God. We might understand
how hard it can be to argue with one who is in authority over us. Yet Moses
also represents people who have a lively relationship with God and receive deep
promises from God.
Whereas the people of Israel represent us at very different times in life
than Moses does.
We empathize with them when we become restless in the absence of our
leader, when we feel an absence of connection with God and want something more,
or perhaps when we want to be able to use our money to influence our religious
community and perhaps even shape the practices of our faith.
And we will definitely understand what Aaron is going through when
we have been through a time when something disastrous has happened on our
watch, when we are waiting for our boss to return or for someone else to come
and fix it. We might even relate to him as one who refuses to take a stand even
when we know that things are going wrong.
Those are the human characters in the passage. Now, you may relate to one
or another of these people more than others. You might feel like the Israelites
and their relationship with God – impatient and wondering what will happen
next. You might feel like Aaron, who should have taken a stand, ended up doing
the wrong thing, and now probably feels pretty foolish as he looks at God. Or
you may feel like Moses and have a strong relationship with God even though
those around you are making a huge mess of it all. What makes the story
interesting and in fact what makes it applicable to our lives are the ways
these characters interact. The relationships between them.
And you could go lots of directions analyzing that, but let’s focus on how
God has a strong relationship with Moses, because I hope that all of us want a
stronger relationship with God. I hope it is a pretty universal desire among us
The situation reaches its critical moment, when God sees what the people
are doing. God is not happy that the people have forgotten about God and built
an idol after all that God has done for them. God is frustrated and hurt. And
here is what is amazing, God tells Moses that. “I’ve been watching these
people, and I’ve seen how stubborn they are. Now leave me alone!” It takes a
pretty good relationship for someone to come to you and say to you, I’m really
mad at that other person.
But it goes even further, because even though God says, “Now leave me
alone.” -- Moses argues back with God, and he says, “Change your mind about
doing terrible things to your own people.” God actually is open to input from
Moses on how to handle the situation. This idea may leave us confused – because
we expect God to have all the answers, we expect God to be perfect and know it
all. What it suggests to us is that God is more about relationship than about
setting our destinies in stone, and plotting out our lives ahead of time. Perhaps
what makes God perfect is God’s ability to work with us in relationship.
In other words, God is less like a clock-maker who made a perfect machine
and started the universe in motion, and more like the perfect coach who
motivates the team throughout the game. And as a perfect coach, God actually
listens when the players want to have input into the game-plan, if the ideas
are good. It is a much more relational view of God. It certainly fits with our
ideas that God loves and forgives – even in the midst of relationship problems
– as God does with the Israelites here, and as God does with us throughout our
What this passage shows us about God is that God is deeply committed to
being in relationship with Moses. But it also suggests that when we say that
God wants to be in relationship with us as human beings, when we say that God
loves us and wants to be in relationship with us as individuals, that God may
want to be able to interact with us much as God did with Moses. In other words,
God wants to be able to tell us when we have done things that anger or
frustrate God. God wants us to be free to share when we are becoming impatient,
and are on the verge of giving up and looking for something else because God
has taken too long. God is open to our input, and we can argue with God about
how things should be done.
All of this is part of our prayer life. Of talking with God and listening
And of course, in those moments God also reminds us that God loves and
forgives us. All of these things are part of a good relationship with God, even
as they are part of a good relationship with others. It is a willingness to
stay in relationship even during the tough times.
The good news is that God wants relationship with us. Relationship in its
best form. Where we are able to communicate openly and clearly, where give and
take is expected, and where love and forgiveness are the foundation.
Seasons of the Spirit, Finding Meaning in Exodus, Tim Scorer
For the past month we have been reading about the Israelites and their
escape from Egypt. We have heard about how God has saved them through miracle
and miracle. All that is wonderful. But after wandering in the desert for a
while, without any government, without any laws – the people need guidance.
They are no longer under Egyptian law. So at some point they need to establish
rules for their new community. How are they to treat each other? What things
are off limits?
It is a situation very similar to what happened on Boxing Day, December 26,
1989. Romania was in turmoil. The previous day, President Nicolae Ceausescu,
unable to quell the tide of dissent in Bucharest, had been tried and executed.
Now no one was in charge. Western reporters flooded into the country from the
south, searching for someone who could speak English. Finally they found
someone, and in one sentence she summed up not only Romania's predicament, but
the human condition: "We have freedom," she said, "but we don't
know what to do with it."
That’s where the Israelites were – they now had freedom, but they didn’t know
what to do with it. What is the best way to live?
Today’s reading begins a section of the Bible where law and rules become an
important part of the story. Mixed in with the stories of Moses and the people
will be long sections on how the temple is to be organized, how people are to
treat strangers, what to do if a person steals from another person; and so on.
Believe it or not, up until this point, God has never really laid all of
that out. The people have lived and acted pretty much without that kind of
guidance. But this moment in time changes that.
This new guidance from God begins with one of the hallmarks in the history
of religious law. We call it the 10 commandments. Scholars looking at the
original form of this passage and reading it in the Hebrew, suggest that the
commandments listed here, may actually have first been simply 10 single words.
Murder. Idolatry. Adultery. And so. They were a shorthand for a rule of life to
guide the Israelite people.
Remember these 10 words, one for each finger, and then obey them.
So obviously these were critical for the Israelite people. They needed laws
for their new community that was free from Egypt and united under their service
of God – but what do these 10 commandments do for us? Because we do not live in
a society without laws. In fact, in our country, our state and our community,
we have thousands of laws. Way more than fit in the bible. There are laws about
murder, building codes, medical marijuana, how fast you can drive, where to
ride your bicycle, and what you can put in your garbage cans. In fact it is
estimated there are 35 million laws on the books in the United States alone.
So we have no shortage of laws – do we still need the 10 commandments? That
may sound like a joke, but honestly, do we? What role do these commandments
play in our lives? Several of them are covered by a whole host of laws on the
books in the United States, so do we need them?
Actually a Christian Sunday School teacher wrote Rabbi Adam Morris’ a
question much like this. That may sound strange, but Rabbi Morris works with a
Christian Sunday School curriculum company and helps to answer questions people
have about the Hebrew Scriptures which we sometimes call the Old Testament.
Here is the question:
“Dear Rabbi, I teach Sunday school to young people. This month we are doing
a bulletin board on the ten commandments. Could you tell me if there is a more
modern way to interpret them for youth?”
Rabbi Morris answers: “You ask a great question that cuts to the heart of
the matter as to why we teach Scripture – or as we Jews may call it, text. We
teach it because on some level we believe in our heart of hearts how relevant
it is – no matter the anachronistic language or even uncomfortable story
details (Leviticus and leprosy come to mind!). We believe that there is
relevance to us today. Even though the language of the commandments can be somewhat
distant, at the core of each is a truth that each of us knows and faces. I
think that the key to interpreting them today is hooking into that truth and staying
positive and appropriate.”
“Jews order the ten commandments a bit differently than in the Christian
tradition, but I’ll share our way of counting.”
He then deals with the commandments one by one.
“I am the Lord your God can be re-told as: Knowing who is the one with the
“Wrongful use of God’s name can be re-told as: Being aware of the language
we use (cursing, blessing, etc.).”
“Idol Worship -- Following after the god of stuff (watches, clothes,
“Shabbat/Sabbath day --Taking care of ourselves/souls.”
“Parents -- (Too much relevancy here!).”
Let me pause for a second here so that those of you who are taking notes
can catch up, and so the rest of you can digest those first five commandments.
[pause – after a few moments continue]
Ready to go on? Okay, so for the next one we could say that the reminder
about the evil of Murder is that God is “All about life.”
“Stealing -- Acting on jealousy and feeling left out (see #10).”
“Adultery -- Focus on the positive – the need for loving relationships.”
“Bearing false witness -- Truth – how much they value it from others.”
“Coveting -- Not feeling good about themselves so wanting what everyone else
What Rabbi Morris encourages us to do as we look at the commandments, is to
look for the deeper truth in them of what God expects us to value most. These
should continue to influence the way we live our daily lives. They act as
guiding principles for what is most important, and what brings life.
Suddenly the things that are most important are: the God who made us, the
relationships with family, the relationships of marriage, the relationships in
community. We are reminded to take care of ourselves, to be careful what we
say, to value the lives of others. We are reminded that dishonesty and jealousy
are harmful to ourselves and to others. We are told that stuff is less
important and doesn’t need to be the object of our desire, and reminded that God
more important than we often give God credit for.
If we were to truly live these 10 laws out, our lives would be greatly
changed. Can you imagine no jealousy, no chasing after material things, no
shooters from the 32nd floor of a hotel, no threat of war with North
Korea. And people would actually take care of their souls so that they felt
that deep connection with God that they need to be truly fulfilled. These 10
laws could change everything for us. As Psalm 19 says, “All of these are
righteous, they are sweeter than honey—even dripping off the honeycomb! No
doubt about it, your servant is enlightened by them; there is great reward in
So yes, there is a reason for us to keep reading and learning the 10
commandments – even if the language is old, and at first glance they don’t
relate to our day to day modern life. The reality is they serve as a baseline
reminder that there are deeper values to life.
The founder of United Methodist, John Wesley said, “The ritual or
ceremonial law, delivered by Moses to the children of Israel, containing all
the injunctions and ordinances which related to the old sacrifices and service
of the temple, our Lord indeed did come to destroy, to dissolve, and utterly
abolish. . .. all the Apostles, elders,
and brethren, being assembled with one accord, (Acts 15:22) declared, that to
command them to keep this law, was to "subvert their souls;" and that
"it seemed good to the Holy Ghost" and to them, to lay no such burden
upon them. (Acts 15:28) This "hand-writing of ordinances" our Lord
did blot out, take away, and nail to His cross.”
“But the moral law, contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the
prophets, He did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke
any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken, which stands fast as
the faithful witness in heaven.”
They remind us in 10 short statements, perhaps even in 10 words, that God
cares about our religious lives, which is obvious, but God also cares about the
quality of our lives and that means God gives us instructions about how we
treat each other, and even what we desire most.
They tell us how to use the freedom we have, given to us by God as we make
choices each day, and they guide us to the best results. So take some time and
meditate upon these, and let them help you prioritize how you live out each
day. After all, if you can work to obey 35 million laws for our country, you
can certainly work on these 10 for yourself.
F. Wells, "God Spoke These Words," The ChristianCentury, 3/15/00, p.
When you read today’s passage from Exodus, you might be tempted to get the
wrong point. It would be easy to look at the people and their arguments in the
passage from Exodus and think that the most important part of the passage is
about complaining. Moses led the people out of Egypt and ever since they have
been uphappy. But in today’s passage the stress hits a new height. The people
are now, not just complaining, but now they are arguing with Moses.
So we could think that the passage is about helping people to learn better
ways of bringing their problems to light. But that isn’t the point. The real
function of the passage is in the very last line – “Is the Lord really with us
or not?” That’s the crux of the issue. That’s why the people are afraid. That’s
why they are panicked and concerned.
When we read the story, we think, “How can they not know”. Obviously, God
has been with the Israelites from before they stepped out of Egypt. God saw
their plight and has walked with them all along the way. God brought plagues to
change Pharaoh’s heart, God parted the seas, God provided food in the form of
Manna so that they would not be hungry. From our perspective as we read about
miracle after miracle, it is obvious that God is with them. But to the
Israelites, who day by day are walking through the desert, and who day after
day are struggling to live, it is easy to keep forgetting the past, because
they are lost in the worries of today, so they lose trust, and they are afraid,
and they wonder “Is God with us?”
For those of us today, who are reading the story; rather than be judgmental
of the Israelites, we should admit that ultimately we have the same question, that
critical question at the end of the passage: “Is the Lord really with us or not?”
Often our worries both for the church and ourselves, is that very same
question. As we go through life we wonder, “Is God there, or not? Is God real?”
This is especially on our minds when things are not going well.
And this is natural. It is natural to wonder, even to doubt God’s love,
God’s care, and even if God exists, when the circumstances of life are not
going well. When you are in a hospital bed facing life or death, when you are
going through a horrendous divorce, when you are watching your child ruin their
life – these questions can pour forth from us. And the longer the situation
lasts, the more emotional we can become. What starts as a nagging thought in
the back of our mind, suddenly becomes such a worry that we start to be
argumentative and to complain.
We may have very real complaints, like we don’t have enough water; or that
the medicine isn’t helping us, or our ex is treating us like dirt, or our child
won’t talk to us; we may have very real complaints, we may be lacking something
that is necessary and life giving, but what if there is also a spiritual issue
behind our complaints.
In some cases, the reason we become angry, the reason we start arguing with
the doctors, or the lawyers, or even our family members is because we are
afraid that God is not walking alongside us. We are afraid that we have been
abandoned and left to die in the desert places of life. We no longer trust that
our future is protected by the one who made us. Our situation has created a
cloud of doubt within us. We feel like we have lost our faith. I find it
interesting that it is so obvious to us that God was with the Israelites and
yet at the same time it can be so hard for us to see that God is with us
Perhaps if someone were to write the story of our lives out for us, we
would be able to see it. Perhaps if we read the heavenly account, to see
miracle after miracle that has occurred in our lives, whether we were aware of
them or not, then maybe we would feel just as confident that God is with us as
we are confident that God was with the Israelites.
One of the exercises that we assign to new candidates for ministry is to
draw out their lives as a river. The river starts at their birth and it flows
through time to where they are today. Along the way, there have been twists and
turns, slow and calm places, and places with rapids and waterfalls. There may
be places where new streams merged with ours or waters split into diverging
streams. They are to draw it, and present it to the other candidates.
Perhaps the next time we are tempted to ask whether God is with us, we need
to do the river exercise, and draw out our lives on a piece of paper. Then, as
we look at that river, where are the places where we felt God most closely?
What are the times when we know that God protected us? When have we experienced
miracles that truly saved us? Often what we discover is that God has been with
us throughout our lives, and although we are afraid today, although we have
worries, God has been faithful in the past. We can draw on that to help us with
the situation we are currently in, to help us trust that God is with us now.
Barbara Milligan, writing for the National Association for Christian
Recovery writes about how she “was haunted by questions like, Am I really
saved? Does God really love me? Is there really a God, and did Jesus really die
for me, or did somebody make all this up?”
Questions that might be summed up in the same question the Israelites
asked, “Is God really with me or not?” She then writes that looking back
through her life helps her when she asks those questions: “I remember the dark
nights of crying out to God when I was lonely or afraid, and the warmth of
God’s presence that often came to me within minutes. I remember sensing that
God was leading me as I decided to move 400 miles from my childhood home
without a job or a place to live. I remember God beginning to heal my emotional
wounds, freeing me from some codependent patterns and helping me develop
healthy boundaries. And I remember many of God’s personal, daily gifts to me–a
hummingbird in flight, staring into my face from two feet away, or an
encouraging conversation with someone I trusted, or a glimpse of something good
that God was doing in a situation that had tied my stomach into knots.”
“Despite my doubts, God met me in all those ways, and more. Over and over,
I was invited to experience God. I experienced God’s presence, God’s guidance,
God’s compassion, God’s comfort, God’s nurturing, God’s strength, God’s love
and many more aspects of God’s character.”
You see the good news is that although we doubt, although we worry,
although we are afraid, it does not mean that God is not present, and God is
not at work. Our doubts do not hold God out of our lives.
Our worries do not prevent God from working. Look at this passage. Even
though the people are complaining and argumentative and even though Moses has
no idea what to do with them, God steps in, gives instruction and leads the
people to thirst quenching water.
Often in our lives, even though we do not deserve it, even though our trust
in God is not all that great, even though we may argue and complain, God
actually does good and miraculous things for us anyway! Why? Because even
though we are sinners, God loves us and will not leave us – ever. Even when we
fail to see God there.
So the point of this passage is not, stop whining or stop arguing with the
pastor, although I might like it to be. No, the point of the passage is that
when we are worried and afraid, and we find ourselves angry at all around us;
perhaps we need to be reminded that, “Yes, God is with me.” Read the story of
your life, look at the heavenly account, and see just how much God has done for
you. And then use that to reassure yourself that God will continue to be with
you in the future – even if that future leads you out into the desert with no
water. God will not abandon you. Ever.