We all know someone like him.
Who has everything. Who is gifted. Who has all the advantages. Everything is going for him. A bright future full of promise but who despite it all throws it away.
Moses. Moses was a murderer. A life of privilege and miraculous rescue, yet he committed murder. It was an Egyptian man abusing a fellow Hebrew. Moses turns the abuse around intervening for the victim. He goes too far.
Moses hides the body in the sand. He thinks he gets away with it. But he doesn’t. Moses is scorned by the Hebrews and Pharaoh is out to kill him.
Moses ran away. He went to the middle of nowhere and just kept on going starting a new life.
Thou shalt do no murder. That commandment had not yet been given, had not yet been written in stone.
But it had been spoken, to Noah, at the new beginning when the world started over. Human blood is not to be shed. To do so is to disfigure the image of God. It is sacrilege. It is desecration. Vandalism of the holy of the holies, the very living image of God present in the world, broken like cheap pottery.
That is what Moses did. He hides the shattered image of God in the sand.
That is where we meet him. At night, in the wilderness, alone with the sheep. That is where it happens. Holiness finds him. Holy ground finds him. Holy flame. The Angel of the Lord and the voice of God. Moses goes barefoot and walks on the hallowed earth. Moses had driven the holy away and the holy pursued him and found him.
Strange how God chooses the most flawed and broken.
The ones who are best at hiding and running are the ones who stumble back onto Holy Ground, God surrounds them, there is no way out. God is relentless.
Moses is told to go back to the place of his shame, to face those who scorned him, who wished to kill him, returning to the scene of the crime, exhuming what he had left behind.
The long story and journey of salvation for the people of Israel is also the long journey of the salvation of the soul of Moses.
The holiness of God works that way.
Go home Moses, be set free, set your people free.
Peter and Jesus were quite the pair.
Thick headed, rocky Peter and the Messiah who didn’t measure up.
The Messiah who will suffer horribly and die without honor or respect.
Imperfect Peter and imperfect Messiah.
Quite the pair.
Strange how God chooses the most flawed and the most broken.
The suffering Messiah, God’s blood is spilled. The divine image is defaced.
Like Peter, we don’t want that kind of Messiah. We want a messiah who looks like Pharaoh. Powerful, successful, impressive.
Yet it is the broken Messiah who is the burning bush that calls to us in the night.
Imperfection and brokenness surround us. They are the holy ground that we walk upon.
They are where holiness finds us, they are where we begin the long journey that saves our souls.
We all know someone like Moses because we are all like Moses, we mar the image of God and we hide it in the sand.
Will our brokenness and shame become the means of setting others free?
Will we take off our shoes and walk on that hallowed ground?
It is a long journey from here to there.
Holiness pursues. Holiness surrounds.