“Now [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
Acts 17:11 ESV
In yesterday’s blog post, I suggested that Moses didn’t take God at His word when he told Pharaoh “the God of the Hebrews has met with us” (Exodus 5:3). I said that God had told Moses to say, “I AM” sent me to you. And when Moses said to Pharaoh, “Please let us go a three days journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God,” I said that this was the first we had heard of a three days’ journey. I accused Moses of diminishing God and making Him less demanding so Pharaoh would be more willing to accept the request.
It was a great blog post! I got more comments than almost anything I had written before. It was one of the most viewed posts I’ve written.
And it was completely, totally wrong.
A member of The Bible Recap Patreon community very gently and kindly pointed that out late yesterday:
Hey James! Thank you so much for faithfully pouring into this group. I have often been encouraged and blessed by the things you’ve shared. In this particular instance, I have a different view from the one shared in the blog post. I believe Moses and Aaron did exactly what was asked of them. If you look back to yesterday’s reading in Exodus 3:18, God says to Moses: “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’”
I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach. Not because she hurt my feelings, but because the Holy Spirit convicted me so forcefully.
See, I love to write. For as long as I can remember, I have loved words. And I love hearing how my words impact other people. There is a feature on WordPress that allows you to see how any given post is performing. And I’ve gotten obsessed with it. Did more people read today than yesterday? Have I gotten more followers?
You can even see the countries around the world that are viewing your blog. Yesterday, I was thrilled with the fact that five people in Kenya clicked on my blog. Kenya!!
And the comments! Oh, dear God! I am a meth addict for comments. “Wow! Great insight! I’ve never noticed that before! I love your perspective! Great title! Best post so far!”
All based on something I said about God’s Word that was not true. God’s Word was crystal clear from the day before. I was just too in love with my own words, and not careful enough with God’s Word.
So here we are talking about the sovereign God taking down each of the Egyptians’ false gods, and yesterday God dismantled my idol of pride and attention seeking. The love I have for the sound of my own voice.
I would love to believe God took down that idol for good, but I know myself too well. It will come back again. John Calvin was right. The human heart is a factory for idols.
But there is a challenge for you who read this as well. For anyone who gets inspired by a favorite preacher or teacher:
Do the hard work of checking it out for yourself.
There are way too many people who take everything a pastor or Bible teacher says at face value, and just assume that if it sounds “off” to them then it must be because they don’t know as much as the guy who’s been to seminary, or tosses out Greek and Hebrew, or whatever. People often give way too much benefit of the doubt to their Bible teachers. We tend to believe that they know so much more than we do, and even when they say something contrary to the plain text of Scripture, that we must have just read it wrong.
Oh, church. That is so dangerous!
In Acts 17, the believers in Berea were described like this:
“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
Acts 17:11 ESV
Beloved, we have to be Bereans. I am thankful for the gentle, kind, courageous Berean who called me out yesterday.
And for all of you who have been reading these posts, I apologize for getting it so wrong yesterday.