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Your People!


Taliakum Pongen is a PH. D Research Scholar in linguistics at the English & Foreign Language University, Hyderabad. He has a burden to reach out to the intellectuals with the Gospel and interested in apologetics. He will be contributing regularly to The Morung Express for Faithleaf. You may contact him and give feedback at: talipongen@gmail.com
 
Exodus 32:7& 11: “And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.” Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?”” God lambasted at Moses: “Your people!” Weren’t the Israelites God’s people? Moses was probably in a state of shock. How could God make such a comment? We often get hit by similar comments from those around us. We reach melting points and we just want to blast people out of our lives because such comments are nowhere near who we are. But how much is too much? All of us have multiple handicaps. Moses knew that he was serving God not the Israelites. Was God testing his concept of shepherding? Is God testing our shepherding? Our mission field is where our call is. And that includes whatever, wherever and whoever our call requires. God held Moses responsible for the Israelites. We are responsible for the people we minister to. Christ was held responsible for our sin. Therefore, we always turn to Christ. As Moses was so named because he was drawn out of water, God has drawn us out and that matters the most in the midst of all the odds. We are the odd one out. Walking in the confidence of God’s call is our call. God’s word to all the people in the Bible, including Jesus, was: “Lo! I am with you.” God still says: “Lo! I am with you.”
Job 42:5-6: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” What is Job saying here? Job is confessing that all the while he has only heard about God – just second-hand knowledge. Now he has first-hand knowledge because he has seen God. Consider apostle John exiled to the island of Patmos for making his stance that Jesus is Lord. Roman king Domitian required that he be called Dominus et Deus or ‘Lord and God.’ Since John said no he was exiled. Do you feel exiled? In exile God scrolled out the text of Revelation before John. God is well able to reach out wherever you may be exiled to. For instance, if the Bible you have is in another language other than Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic you know it is a result of countless men and women who have sacrificed their lives to translate the Bible in your language. God knows our context. That is why Job realised that first-hand knowledge overrides second-hand knowledge. How is our knowledge of God? First-hand? Second-hand?  
John 6:15: “Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.” After being fed, the 5000 people wanted to make Jesus a king. What were the 5000 up to? They did not know that Jesus was not a but the King. Jesus moved away from the 5000 because His work was done. Is a more lucrative job offer or a higher official position in ministry overshadowing your call? God’s point is that we stay in our calling. Therefore when commotions set in we move away towards God. We hide away in Christ to let Christ reveal Himself above us because only Christ must be glorified. How prompt are we in surrendering ourselves and everyone to God? For pastors, it will mean the congregation. The tenor of the congregation can be understood by understanding our human nature which is made up of carnality and self-will. This understanding can lead us deeper into how God works in our lives and in others. The point of transformation always starts from the point we lay everything at the Cross. On the mount of transfiguration Peter, James and John saw Moses, Elijah and Jesus together. On a second look they saw only Jesus (Mark 9:8). Whom do we see when we look around? Jesus or something else? Jesus stands by us in the midst of commotions within us as well as commotions from the people around us.
Israel had it! God was provoked. And since Moses was their leader God said to him, “Your people!”  to which he promptly replied back and said to God, “Your people!”