The Many World-Changing Calls of God in Hebrew History

daily writing

Exodus 3:1-11

1 Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, priest of Midian. He led his flock to the edge of the desert, and he came to the mountain of God called Horeb. 2 The messenger of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in the midst of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it did not burn. 3 Then Moses said to himself: Let me behold this astonishing spectacle and see why the bush is not burning.

4 When the LORD saw that he was coming to see, God called him from the bush: “Moses, Moses!
Moses said, “I am here.

5 Then the LORD said, “Do not come near! Take off your sandals, for you’re standing on holy ground. 6 He continued, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

7 Then the LORD said, “I have clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know their pain. 8 I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, to bring them out of this land and bring them into a good and wide land, a land full of milk and honey, a place where the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites all live. 9 Now the cries of injustice of the Israelites have reached me. I saw how the Egyptians oppressed them. 10 So go ahead. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?

Exodus 4:18

18 Moses returned to his father-in-law Jethro and said, “Please let me go back to my family in Egypt and see whether or not they are still alive. Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.

Isaiah 6:1-8

1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the LORD seated on a lofty and lofty throne, the edges of his robe filling the temple. 2 winged creatures were posted around him. Each had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They cried out to each other, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Eternal of heavenly forces!
The whole earth is filled with the glory of God!

4 The door frame shook at the sound of their cries, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 I said, “Weep over me; I am broke ! I am a man with unclean lips, and I live among a people with unclean lips. Yet I saw the King, the Eternal of heavenly forces!

6 Then one of the winged beings flew towards me, holding a burning coal which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth and said, “Look, this touched your lips. Your guilt is gone and your sin is taken away.

8 Then I heard the voice of the LORD say, “Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us?”
I said, “I’m here; send me.”

Psalm 78:70-72

70 And God chose David his servant,
taking him out of the sheepfolds.
71 God took him from the care of the suckling sheep
to shepherd his people Jacob,
to shepherd his inheritance, Israel.
72 David guided them with an upright heart;
he led them with the skill of his hands.

Reflection Questions

God called many people in the Hebrew Scriptures. With different specificities, all callings have led to a role in God’s mission. Moses, hesitant at first, challenged the Egyptian pharaoh in the name of God to “let my people go”. David’s father saw no talent in his youngest son (cf. 1 Samuel 16:1-13), but God did, and the young shepherd boy became Israel’s greatest earthly king. Isaiah, purified in a vision of the glory of God, said, “I am here; send me” when God called a prophet to bring warning and hope to the people of God.

  • The voice of God from the burning bush said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God linked the call of Moses with the long unfolding of God’s purposes that began with Abraham. At Resurrection, we believe our work is part of that same divine mission. What helps you remember that God is calling you to join millions of others who throughout the ages have worshiped and served “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob »?
  • God asked Isaiah, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? What God was looking for in Isaiah’s day was a person willing to honestly serve people who were blind to their spiritual rebellion. (Read excerpts from Isaiah 1 and 9 to get a sense of the two dimensions of Isaiah’s message.) As God calls you, are you ready to say, “I am here; send me”, even if the use of your gifts can be difficult and involve sacrifices?

Pray

Lord Jesus, you call us all to be, in some way, your physical presence, to serve others. Help me to hear and live your call upon me, and encourage others to respond to your call in their lives as well. Amen.