Many pastors are sincerely searching for a better understanding of the critical relationship between the marketplace and professional ministry. Pastors are not alone in this search. Believers all over the world, whether they sit in the pews or occupy the pulpits, at some time in their lives, struggle with understanding just how God wants us all to fit together for the purposes of His Kingdom. People in the pews may have a call to ministry, but not professional, pulpit ministry. This kind of call can bring about a confusing time, particularly for believers in business, government, education, etc. (the marketplace). Many who feel this desire for a deeper life of effectiveness for the Lord are sincerely trying to hear the Lord. Do we quit our jobs and become pastors or join our church staff?
Exodus 33:16 For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?
Moses was having one of his personal, face-to-face conversations with God. His comments were profound, and they are just as relevant today as when they were first spoken. Moses was saying that by the presence of God and by His personal involvement in the details of the culture of this new nation of people, they would be distinguished from all other people on the earth. In Moses' day, all other nations served heathen gods. There had to be something that would differentiate God's people from everyone else.
Marvin Wilson, author of Our Father Abraham, has written incisively about the various meanings for our word "fool:" "In Biblical wisdom literature the pupils of the sages and mentors are the unwise, often termed "fools" (Proverbs 1:7) or "simple one" (1:22). In wisdom literature the different levels of fools-both young and old-are the raw material on which the sages had to work and they represent the varying degrees of rawness. Perhaps as much as anything else, the term fool is descriptive of an attitude, bent of mind, or direction in life which needs correcting. The various Hebrew words for "fool" occur more than a hundred times in the book of Proverbs.