What Will Your Answer Be?

A while ago I came across the hebrew word Hineni (pronounced He-neigh(like a horse)-knee) which means "Here I am" and I absolutely love the deeper meaning and significance of it. Hebrew words are so awesome because they have such depth! So here's a little Hebrew lesson for you all because I know you want to feel like you're in class again (not), but just trust me for second, it'll be worth it!

Hineni is special because it is found in the Bible when God is calling a person. Like when he showed up in a burning bush, Moses's response was Hineni, "Here I am". I know, it doesn't seem super exciting, but in a case where a person would respond saying "Here I am", there was another word they could use. That word is "Po Ani" which means "I'm here", but not really present. You know, like when the teacher is taking attendance and calls your name and you say "Here!" from the back row of your history class. Hineni however, has more depth to it. Josh McClendon wrote, "It’s about being here, and close by, and present, but also about readiness, awareness, awakeness. It’s a lot like the word we translate as “Lo!” or “Behold!”  So we get the sense it’s more of a “Here I am!  Look, it’s me!  I’m present, listening, and ready to roll.  I’m at your service.” (https://joshtmcc.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/175/) Isn't it so cool how one word can have so much meaning and power behind it? Alright the Hebrew lesson is finished. See, that wasn't so bad!

We find other heroes of the faith responding to God in such a way. When Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God calls his name and he responds Hineni, "Here I am Lord. Tell me what to do." Or when Samuel heard the voice of the Lord in the night, He responded, Hineni, "Here I am. I'm ready to do your will." Or when Isaiah hears God ask, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” He responds Hineni, "Here am I. Send Me!"

Do you think these men truly knew the risks involved? Do you think they were possibly thinking in the back of their mind "Oh crap, what did I just get myself into?" Do you think they thought they were the most qualified? 

We actually get a chance to see how Moses felt when God called him to speak in front of Pharaoh. He responded saying, "I'm no good at speaking. Don't you think maybe you might possibly want to choose someone better?" Simply put, he felt unqualified to carry out God's call. I love that we get a chance to see the authenticity of this moment. Moses was walking out what he had committed already to do from the moment God called him in the burning bush, and he faces his next step from God to continue saying "Here I am", and we get to see what he does. As we read on, Moses allows his low self esteem to get in the way. God instead, has to use Aaron, Moses' brother as a mouthpiece for Moses.

We find that God works through imperfect people. We also find that when we can't do something on our own, God will bring someone to walk alongside us. We find that as Moses goes before Pharaoh, Aaron is always with him. As you read the accounts of the times they go before Pharaoh to tell him to let their people out of slavery, it sounds like it is just Aaron speaking the words God gives to Moses to tell Aaron, but then as the time goes on it looks like Moses actually does speak to Pharaoh.  In Exodus 11:4-8 we read, "Moses said, 'Thus says the Lord, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die...And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger." 

I think it is awesome to see the grace of God in this story. His plan was for Moses to speak to Pharaoh, but instead he has Aaron be his mouthpiece, but doesn't take Moses out of the equation. With Moses feeling unqualified, God could have decided to use just Aaron or someone else for that matter, but Moses said "Here I am. Ready to do your will", so God brings Aaron to encourage Moses. God said, "I'll still use you. I still have great plans for you. I still want you to be the one to lead my people out of slavery, so I'm going to do whatever it takes for that to happen." And now when we remember the story of the Israelites' plight, and how they were freed from slavery, and how a man led them across the Red Sea we remember a man named Moses, who followed the call from God out of a burning bush.

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