Updated: Feb 22
Imagine what it would be like to be God's friend. Amazing, beautiful, lovely, scary? The one percent of the one percent.
When I think of the relationship between God and Moses, I am awed by how much God can walk deeply with a man.
Let's start from the beginning, you know, how it all started. If you follow my podcast, God Talk, you'll know God desires to have a relationship with us and I discuss it in detail over there but this post is just to talk about how we can be a friend of God and if it is possible.
The book of Exodus opens up with the Israelites having overstayed their welcome in Egypt, the fact that there was a Pharaoh who knew nothing of the incredible work Joseph had done years before (well, to be honest it had been a long while soo... still I think if he wanted to know more about them, he could have done some digging or probably gone down to their basements, he'd have probably seen drawings and depictions of the famine and how God saved them through Joseph, since Egyptians loved keeping history)
Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. Exodus 1:8
This Pharaoh and the rest of the Egyptians felt threatened by the Israelites growing strength and success that they decided to enslave them. Now remember, all of these wasn't new to God, He had already told Abraham about it Genesis 15:13-14. Where it gets pretty is chapter 3, Moses' first encounter with God. God appears to Moses through the burning bush (bush wasn't consumed) and then He tells him that He has chosen him to be his messenger (ouuf so many Hes and hims and he there). Moses then takes God through a series of back and forth, basically saying, 'I don't want to go, pick someone else'.
But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 3:11
But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” 3:13
But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” 4:1
But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” 4:10
But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” 4:13
“But Lord!” Moses objected. “My own people won’t listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I’m such a clumsy speaker!” 6:12
But Moses argued with the Lord, saying, “I can’t do it! I’m such a clumsy speaker! Why should Pharaoh listen to me?” 6:30
Mind you, there was nothing in scripture that indicated that Moses was a good man or a faithful man or a God fearing man the way we saw about Noah and Enoch. God simply chose him. This shows God chooses people.
Eventually, God got a little angry with Moses' constant protests (I like that, cuz if I'm the lord, I don't want to be having any back and forth with a subject I created)
Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you... Exodus 4:14
But then, God wasn't really angry, He more bent a little to Moses' request (jaw drops!- God has a soft spot for us humans. No other creature can try what Moses tried with God!)
After this encounter and the series of plagues where Moses was the go between of God and Pharaoh, we see something special grow between Moses and God. Dependency, trust, vulnerability, constant communication, tolerance, teamwork, obedience and confidence ( You can add some of yours after reading the story) challenges brought them closer. Moses, speaking for God to the people of Israel had him always choosing God over the children of Israel because he KNEW God. If you read the entire exodus well, you'll see God wanted that with all the Israelites and not just with Moses alone, but they were just too rebellious.
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me.6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ Exodus 19:3-5
Also read, Exodus 24:9-11
Then in chapter 33, we see the bond of friendship between God and Moses. Prior to this, the children of Israel had done what they always do (which is NOT choose God. They literally would do anything God tells them NOT to do) So God was really upset with them and decided to just stop trying to bond with the annoying children. In verse 11, it says God would speak face to face with Moses as one speaks to a friend. Too cute!
In verse 13, Moses made a cry to the Lord, he said '' If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully...'' Moses told God that he wanted to know Him more so he could understand him better. Have you desired to know God truly that you've poured out your heart to Him this way? You know what God said next? In verse 17, ''The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
Moses then asked to see God's glorious presence - The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh,[c] before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.20 But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.”21 The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock.22 As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.23 Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
To see God's presence manifest! What level of trust and confidence God had in Moses.
SERVICE & FRIENDSHIP
God can call us into His service but a deep relationship is more profitable. It is possible to serve God without fearing Him. Yes! You can serve someone and not particularly like the person. Could be for a number of reasons. Let's look at one person. Aaron was God's own priest, appointed by God Himself! but unlike Moses who knew God and stood up and defended God to the Israelites, Aaron cowered to their demand for a substitute/ replacement of God. Every time I read Exodus chapter 32 I get so angry with Aaron ( I can't even quote it, you read it for yourselves- Exodus 32 ) After all that God had done through him and Moses for the Israelites in Egypt and even after, he was more scared of the people than God. He loved the praise of men more than the praise of God - Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!” vs 5.
Another Man whom God also loved as a friend was Abraham. If you consider it well, the bible also didn't mention anything particular about Abraham that made God call or choose him, rather it was his behaviour to God after the call.
And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. Genesis 15:6
“Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:12
“This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies.18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:17
In Genesis 18, we see God considering even revealing his plan to Abraham.
“Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the Lord asked.18 “For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.19 I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.”
From the lives of Abraham and Moses, we see that being God's friend is real. God desires that we know Him and love Him and trust Him and He is ready to do life with us only if we choose Him. If we trust Him like Abraham did, obey Him and sincerely desire to know him like Moses did.
To know God is to fear, love and trust Him.