Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ – To Whom did Moses speak?
Duh, he spoke to the band of Israelites who fled Egypt with him and under God’s aegis. Well, yes and no. Moses addressed the people of God who didn’t want to hear the voice of God! This is what occurred directly after God proclaimed the Ten Commandments. What an amazing response! It encapsulates everything we know about Israel at this time and for the coming parts of their journey.
When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.’ Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:19-21)
To whom did Moses speak?
- Moses spoke to those enslaved and oppressed for 430 years in Egypt. This people had learned well the ways of slaves – burdened by those in power, resentful and full of distrust of anyone in authority, and more. This is the group that had experienced the absence of God for 430 years and, effectively taken up the worship of Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt.
- God brought them through the Red. They saw oppressors and Pharaoh, the god of Egypt, dead.
- “Why did you bring us out here to the wilderness? To die? We had it better in Egypt!” When they required food, they complained & blamed. When they had no water, they complained and blamed. God provided quail, manna, & water for them.
- “You shall have no gods before me…” God attempts to teach this people born in slavery how to live as free persons. (See yesterday’s post for the many topics covered. Whew!) How did that work?
The ones who were reared in oppression & slavery would easily take up the work of oppressing and enslaving anyone whom they deemed less than them.
Consider, my Caucasian friends… This is our story, too. My Irish ancestors fled Ireland to get free from British oppression and enslavement. Pilgrims left England to find religious freedom from oppression and enslavement by the religious majority. Catholics left other countries to flee Protestant oppression and enslavement.
And what happened. Southern Christians and Catholics enslaved and oppressed Africans. Northern Protestant Christians enslaved and oppressed Catholics. We all learned the ways of oppression and enslavement. And did not wish to hear the voice of God! You and I have taken up our ways today to enslave and oppress those we deem less than ourselves.
YET! Yet, God made a covenant with the people then through the blood of sacrificed animals. And, Christ makes a covenant with us today and each day in his blood – a covenant to become teachable and be taught.
Seems to me.