Before Moses met God in the Middle East he spied a bush burning in the wilderness, perhaps not so unusual, except it kept burning and burning. The flames remained strong and bright. If anything, they stretched higher as if to wrest his attention out of him, “Hey dummy, what are you waiting for. You’ve got to check this out.” He headed that way, taking his time at first, figuring the bush would soon be consumed. If the fire died out, he could be quickly on his way without a several mile detour.
Eventually he quickened his pace thinking, “I hope it doesn’t go out before I get there.” Upon arrival at the meeting place a voice came out of the bush. Then there was a conversation. And finally a question: “If I go to my people and tell them I’m to lead them out of Egypt, Whom shall I say sent me to them?”
Before President Trump met God in the Middle East he observed over decades of his life a seemingly unending quarrel between the nations and religions of the region. Especially noteworthy was a tiny little actor of a country that seemed to pop up out of nowhere; hardly the size of New Jersey. Like a fraternity pledge applying for acceptance among guys he wants to call brothers, only to have a target hung on his back, the country was the frequent victim….
No. Not victim, for the nation seemed always to rise above and achieve victory,...like a frequent lucky winner in most every contest he was entered in. Trump admired their spunk. He wondered why so many countries were invested in owning their little piece of property, just a few miles long and a lot less miles wide. There was a name for what would be required to improve the situation. But what that name was eluded him for a very long time.
It just so happens the major contestants, the religions at each others’ throats in the Middle East speak of their father jointly as Abraham. Shouldn’t they get along with each other? Maybe the problem is they have different mothers: Sarah, Hagar, and Mary. Or maybe not. Brothers and sisters fight even when they are born to the same mom.
When Moses met God in the Middle East is the moment in time when God revealed His name to Moses: “I Am Who I Am and What I Am and I Will Be What I Will Be…. Tell Israel I Am has sent you.” It’s like when a child defiantly asks mommy, “Why do I have to pick up my toys.” “Because I told you to.” It was Gods name Moses needed in the moment, for his present predicament, his challenge of the day: to obey or not to obey his Lord’s command to deliver Israel from Egyptian slavery.
Because God long ago gave Abraham His name, actually a few of His names to hang onto, we have a sense of who God is through the eyes of Israel, the nation. The God Who Provides revealed Himself in a moment of time when Abraham had no other choice but to offer up his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to God. He learned of a sacrifice God would prefer to make for us, of one we actually cannot make ourselves. The juncture between Moses and Abraham: I Will Be Your Sacrifice, Your Provision.
Because God revealed Himself to Hagar by His name Ishmael: The God Who Hears, we can see God through the eyes of an Arab. In her moment of deepest despair Hagar cried out to the Lord alone in the wilderness. He heard. He answered. Soon after God also revealed Himself as The God Who Sees, “For she said, ‘Have I [not] even here [in the wilderness] looked upon Him Who sees me [and lived]?’” (-Amp.)
The third contending religion vying to survive in the Middle East is Christianity, also a son of Abraham. Jesus and Emmanuel came to us, were introduced to us, their names meaning: Savior and God With Us; relational names, not mere lifelines to grasp in times of trouble. God as seen through eyes of a Christian.
Because Trump met God in the Middle East we see God anew, through the eyes of a “refreshed” American. When one of us begins to think a web page is loading too slow or has become stale or is “out of date” we sometimes think to click the refresh button. As often as not the page loads quicker, more completely, or appears more up-to-date. After decades of doing things the same old way, after waiting around patiently for different results, President Trump walked right up, reached over shoulders, and brusquely pressed our refresh button.
The tables are turned. Having seen the Middle East through eyes of Israel, Arab, and Christian, now the Middle East can see God through the eyes of refreshed Americans, through the eyes of a President that boldly went where none had gone before, to the button of refreshing. (We should be thankful disruptors by nature know where to find refresh buttons. Especially this one.)
Again, the tables are turned. Instead of God’s name: I Am being revealed to command an Exodus of God’s people out of the land; God’s name: Drive Them Out is revealed to God’s people, Abraham’s children included, admonishing We Do The Driving:
It is a choice between two futures—and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.
Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright 1965, 1987 by the Zondervan Corporation. The Amplified New Testament copyright 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
About The Pundit
This retired window washer now provides instruction on the benefits and perils of time travel through focusing an allegorical lens on the present.