Thursday, March 04, 2010

Conversation wtih God, by Name

Reading in Exodus this morning, I came across this conversation between God and Moses I'd never noticed in Exodus 33.  God and Moses are talking "face-to-face, as neighbors speak to one another" in the tent and Moses share the questions on his heart that I ask of God all the time: "Do you really know me? Who am I to you?  Am I special?"
 11 And God spoke with Moses face-to-face, as neighbors speak to one another. When he would return to the camp, his attendant, the young man Joshua, stayed—he didn't leave the Tent.  12-13 Moses said to God, "Look, you tell me, 'Lead this people,' but you don't let me know whom you're going to send with me. You tell me, 'I know you well and you are special to me.' If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being special to you. Don't forget, this is your people, your responsibility."
 14 God said, "My presence will go with you. I'll see the journey to the end."
 15-16 Moses said, "If your presence doesn't take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you're with me in this, with me and your people? Are you traveling with us or not? How else will we know that we're special, I and your people, among all other people on this planet Earth?"
 17 God said to Moses: "All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name." 
I love  the way this conversation ends, with God confirming that not only does he know Moses, but that's special to him and that he knows him by name.  There's a lot to a name.  Many of the best leaders I've seen have an uncanny ability to remember people's names.  It's a cool thing to have the President, CEO or CIO or a company walk down the hallway and know you, and greet you by name. 

I don't pretend for a minute that by knowing my name, they really know who I am.  I love that God combines that he knows Moses, he values him AND knows him by name.  I've got to go back to that all the time, to ask God: "Who am I to you?" and I'm amazed and embarrassed (in a good way) at what he tells me.

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