My mother-in-law lives in the country. The summer weather gets swampy. Susan once came upon a cow mired in a mud pit. It took the farmer, three neighbors, and a crane to free that poor beast from her predicament. Her frantic efforts to haul herself out had only dug her in deeper.
Sounds familiar. When I’m stuck neck-deep in muck of my own making, God’s answer to my prayers may be Let me alone, but I’m too wrapped up in my own wrath to hear it.
Let me alone, says the Lord to Moses. He hears the words, but he won’t let up. Foolhardy, fearless, and faithful, Moses musters the chutzpah to argue with God, whose anger could consume him and all of idolatrous Israel, too.
Centuries later, it’s on Moses that Jesus’ adversaries have set their highest hopes. Yet as Jesus, fierce in his rhetorical mastery, points out, it’s Moses who will one day accuse them. The charge? Stiff-necked stupidity. Oxen rigidity. The stubborn refusal to learn a blessed thing even from the person God sent to give them life, the very life eternal for which they search the Scriptures.
What’s to be done? Relent. Believe Jesus. Honor the One who sent him. Give in to grace that’s greater than any problem. When I finally do that, the answer to my prayers is not Let me alone but I will not accuse you. Then I know: I have the love of God in me. And I’m freed.