In my reading this week, I came across the children of Israel in the desert preparing for the Passover. God gave Moses the instructions involving cleansing and so he told the people the rules. Some of them were unclean because of handling a corpse but they wanted to participate so they went to Moses and asked him what they could do. They said to him. “We have become ritually unclean because of a corpse, but why should we be barred from bringing God’s offering along with other Israelites on the day set for Passover?”
I love this because they knew where they were, what they wanted and who to ask all the questions. They went to the only person they knew could sort things out with finality, Moses. One would expect that Moses with all the he knew about God would simply give opinions, but he did not do that. H simply said, “Give me some time; I’ll find out what God says in your circumstances.” Ex 9:8 (MSG).
I like the way the Message puts it…give me some time.
Moses did not even miss a beat, he did not try to appear to know more than he did, he simply went back to his pattern of talking to God. He knew that he could not answer anything he didn’t know, and he needed to consult with the One who knew all answers.
How many times do we wing it and say things that do not make sense just to sound knowledgeable? How often do we try to convince people we are good when we are not? How often do we give our children or the other young ones in our lives answers that aren’t truthful just because we are too scared to say we do not know?
There is no glory in faking it my friends and there is no shame in not knowing things.
I remember when we were growing up, we learnt by watching the adults around us that not knowing something was almost criminal so we could not ever say we did not know. The adults never admitted they didn’t know something rather they would change the topic or give some simple answer that didn’t really meet the need at hand. We learnt that they would not admit to not knowing and so many of us adopted the same modus operandi.
I always wondered about this behaviour because I had been taught to ask questions about everything. My grandfather was great at answering questions and I realised that he thought through his answers and that became my new mode of operation. However, as I grew up and found challenges in the working world, I subconsciously shifted to brushing aside the questions I didn’t know’ until I had offspring and it no longer worked.
It is so easy to adopt the patterns of others when we need to follow our own path.
When Moses went to rescue the children of Israel, he was of different stock from them. His years in the palace, on the run, in back side of the desert, and encounter with God had changed him. He had been separated from his people and built into someone who would stand in faith no matter what. The people he led were broken by their years in captivity and disconnection from the word of God and they were Egyptians at heart.
Moses wasn’t looking for easy solutions like the children of Israel because his life had proven that easy was never easy in real life. He had spent time alone with the sheep which gave him time to really slow down and think. His encounter with God confirmed that he could lean on God no matter what as is seen in Egypt and along the way to the Promised Land.
He had a relationship with God that would be give him the strength to stand steady and go slow. Remember he is the same one who said to God, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with me in this, with me and your people? Are you traveling with us or not? How else will we know that we’re special, I and your people, among all other people on this planet Earth?” Ex 33:15.
So in the time of distress he could confidently say, “Give me some time…”
Can you say the same with confidence? Can you enter a situation without an answer and ask for time to find an answer? Can you be like Daniel who said to a king, give me time to pray and get back to you? Or is your default to posture like you know what you are doing even if you don’t know.
- I say today, it is ok not to know as long as you know the one who does.
- It is ok not to know, as long as you are looking to Him who does.
- It is ok not to know, if your hand is in the hand of Him who does
- It is ok not to know, if every step you take leads to the cross.
- It is ok not to know because Jehovah God is in control.