On being frank with God

I am currently reading through the Book of Exodus.  Each time I read through Exodus or Numbers, I am struck by the relationship between God and Moses.  God doesn’t mince words with Moses, but what is sometimes surprising is how often Moses doesn’t mince words with God.  Here is Moses after the Israelites are forced to make bricks without straw:

O Lord, why have you mistreated this people?  Why did you ever send me?  Since I first came to pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people (Exodus 5.23; emphasis mine).

We tend to hem-haw a bit more.  “Lord, I know you’re timing is perfect, so I guess this is your will for now, but if you could help me that would be … well … helpful.”  When was the last time you told God anything like “You are doing nothing“?  Are we even comfortable doing that?  Is Moses even an example to emulate here?

At least to that last question, I would answer ‘yes.’  Part of living in genuine relationship is honesty.  And, if we are to be honest with God, I don’t think mincing words will do.  And, because this is a genuine relationship, sometimes complaining to God, at least done wrongly, may elicit God’s anger (e.g. Numbers 11).  But, sometimes (though by no means all the time) it elicits God’s action as God finally does move to deliver his people in the chapters following Moses’ statement here in Exodus 5.

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About Jeremy

I work at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond, LA. I teach part-time classes from time to time, through Loyola University in New Orleans, Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and St. Joseph's Abbey and Seminary College. I also just finished a doctoral degree in Biblical languages through the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.
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