The Providential Element.
We are his workmanship. Beware of belittling yourself by comparing yourself to others. Each of us is one of a kind, the product of special providences of God. Consider Moses as a case in point. It’s almost as if Satan says: Very well. He’s in the palace. But now we have him where we can use him after all. We’ll train him in the best of everything that is Egypt, and get him to use it all as the successor to Pharaoh, and he’ll be invincible in carrying out the original idea of the edict (see last post).
And so Moses was trained in military skills, administration and statesmanship, law and writing. What a coup for Satan if all this could have perverted Moses and made him a force against Israel. But God again turns the tables, and the very skills Moses learned under the aegis of Egypt become the qualities that enabled him to lead Israel and make it invincible.
In our lives also, God is full of surprises. Far from perverting Moses, Satan must watch helplessly as God uses all these means to prepare Moses. What has been your special training, and how do you see the over-ruling providence of God in it? Do you recognize his providences as preparatory to your discipleship?
The providential element is always both gracious and unassailable. As Joseph says to his brothers: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Do not be dismayed or discouraged by anything. (Romans 8:28) Do not identify exclusively with either your victories or your defeats. God wants us to crank both our highs and lows into a view of self that believes it is all part of our being enriched for his service. (Luke 22:31,32)
The Personal Element.
Amazing providences alone are not enough. There must be a deeply vital “I-thou” confrontation, an arrest by God. This began already in Egypt with an awareness of the “antithesis,” accepting the stigma, sifting the values and developing a self-image. (Hebrew 11:24-27)
It was greatly intensified at the burning bush. God identified himself as “I AM”. God then characterizes himself with “I have seen…” God continues by asserting himself: “Go to Pharaoh..” He then commits himself: “I will put forth my hand….” Finally, God provides for Moses’ inability: “Aaron your brother…”
All this has gone into the making of Moses. God refused to use the man of Exodus 2, and instead hand-crafted the man of Exodus 3. Every disciple in some way or other will discover in his or her life the basic elements in the making of Moses. By nature we fit the picture of Exodus 2; only grace and the redeeming work of God in Christ in us can bring us to the burning bush, and from there to our mission in “Egypt”. We are responsible for recognizing, understanding, accepting and utilizing God’s workmanship in ourselves. And all praise and glory belong to him.
With our God in sovereign control of all things and fashioning us to be fitting instruments in his service, we dare commit ourselves to him as disciples, and experience the best of all lives for Christ.