Exodus 33:12-23 – The 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time â€“ for Sunday, October 19, 2014
â€œMoses said, â€˜Please show me your glorious presence.â€™â€ (Exodus 33:18)
Near the end of the conversation with God at the burning bush, Moses moped about not being eloquent. â€œI am slow of speech and slow of tongue,â€ claimed the guy (in Exodus 4:10) whoâ€™d soon lead the Children of Israel to freedom.
Really? (I can’t image Moses/Christian Bale, in the upcoming Ridley Scott film “Gods and Kings” being slow of speech! Charlton Heston’s Moses didn’t have a “slow tongue!”)
Much of Exodus depicted a whining, wondering, and willfull Moses. He cajoles, he vents, and he seethes. The precious child once plucked from a riverâ€™s bulrushes becomes the pushy man who persuades THE CREATOR OF THE WHOLE DARN UNIVERSE WHO IS CONTINUING TO CREATE AND ACCOMPLISH A WHOLE LOT MORE WHICH IS FAR BEYOND THE UNDERSTANDING OF MERE MORTALS to reveal the Holy name (which, in Hebrew, was gratefully shortened to Y-H-W-H instead of T-C-O-T-W-D-U-W-I-C-T-C-A-A-A-W-L-M-W-I-F-B-T-U-O-M-M.) Moses alone first received the radical and community-building commandments from God (and then the commandments again after some nasty idol business). Moses continually convinced God that the escaping, fake-deity-making, heartbreaking, and bellyaching Chosen People were worth saving.
Moses listened. (Well, most of the time.)
Based on the various accounts of Exodus (including the chatty Exodus 33:12-23 example of the God and Moses dialogs) Y-H-W-H and Mister Moses were the Abbott and Costello (or Key and Peele for you moderns) of the Old Testament.
Moses, forever with one more request, requested in the thirty-third chapter of Exodus that God show Godâ€™s presence. Continue reading →