The finger of God

Growing up in the south, in the Bible Belt, Vacation Bible School was always a summer experience for me and my brother. Mom and Dad were at work on summer days so we mostly stayed with my grandparents over the long 12 week break. Yes, it was 12 weeks back then. 12 weeks of watching TBS and the Braves, and slip n slide and Dairy Queen and VBS. My grandparents sent me to all the VBSs within 10 miles to keep us busy. I tried this with my kids, calling it “Church camp” but they caught on quickly that is was a free babysitting option with snacks. Boo. I don’t remember having a choice, it was VBS or the highway.

During these sweet VBS weeks between the hours of 9:30-12:30, I remember consuming lots of red punch and sugar cookies and there was always a parachute game and a felt board. The parachute was a little nerve wracking because what if you get stuck under this large piece of dirty fabric with strange kids? But the felt board was safe. The green board had all the famous Bible characters stuck to it and their strange stories were told thanks to the power of lamination. Many of these accounts involved  Moses…and sitting on the cold, hard tiled church floor…in a circle. Yes, Moses, you know, the baby in the basket, the Plagues, Pharoah saying “Let my people go” (there was even a song) and the 10 commandments. Moses and the felt boards. 

I was reading about Moses this week and these verses grabbed me: “When the Lord finished speaking with Moses, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, written by the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18

“These tablets were God’s work; the words on them were written by God himself.” Exodus 32:16

I am not sure how I thought the 10 commandments were written. I guess I assumed Moses chiseled them with a sharp stone…and they were legible? This was not discussed over red punch and sugar cookies or during the cold floor circle time with the green felt board. But Exodus is clear: the terms of the covenant were written by God himself. 

“Written by the finger of God.” It has stayed with me today…The terms of this covenant, this plan between God and his chosen people was not Moses’ doing. Moses just showed up, he just said yes and climbed the mountain and then God issued the law and wrote it with His finger!

Moses, the baby who was hidden for 3 months and floated down the river in a basket. Moses, the man who was displaced over and over, who left Egypt and ended up with sheep who then encountered a burning bush, only to be moved again, back to Egypt to deliver bad news and finally released from Egypt to wander in the wilderness. Moses, who was never lost from God, never out of his sight.  

Moses, who encountered God on the mountain “face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” (Exodus 33:11)

Moses, when chased by Pharoah’s angry, Egyptian army, looked the at the Red Sea in front of him and thousands of Israelites behind him, and still stepped forward…Moses, full of faith, fully available…for God’s glory. 

God always made a way for Moses: the basket, the river, the burning bush, the tablets, the Red Sea…He always provided…”written by the finger of God.”

Whatever God needed accomplished, He made the provision. For His glory alone…never for Moses’. “Glory to glory” scripture says. His glory to His glory. Not ours. Never ours.

Whatever His plans, what ever He needs, He will provide. He will use His finger to write it out, to make the way. 

When our hearts align with His, when we get out of the way, the pressure is off. The pressure is off to get it all right, to be at the right place at the right time, to say the right thing, look the right way, know the right person. We just have to say yes, to climb the mountain, to step into the sea. He will find us wherever we are, even if it’s in a basket, floating down a river, or wandering in a wilderness…He will find us and He will use whatever and whoever it takes to accomplish His plans.

Because you see, Moses led us to Jesus…on the mountain to get the tablets…for the covenant…the old covenant…written by the hand of God himself….that led to our need for the new covenant…written and paid for by the blood of Jesus… 

He will find you wherever you are and will use whatever you have…if it will lead others to Jesus. It will be for his glory alone. That’s the hard part, laying down all that concerns us, laying down all our crowns, so that he will be glorified…so that everything leads to Jesus.

So…every mountain that needs climbing, every sea that needs crossing…His finger is writing, writing the story that brings Him the glory…that always leads to Jesus.

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