God called Moses to be the one through whom He would use to help set the people of God free from the slavery of Egypt and a tyrant of a Pharaoh. But, while God called Moses, Moses questioned God about His decision of wanting Moses to be that man who would speak to Pharaoh and demand that he let God's people go. But God would not allow Moses to dictate to God just who God wanted to use. With each excuse Moses gave, God had an answer for him to quickly contemplate.
At God's call, Moses asks, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the people of Israel out of Egypt" (Ex 3:11)? God quickly replied that "I will be with you. And this will be the proof that I sent you: When you bring the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship God on this mountain" (Ex 3:12). God was letting Moses know the future and that part of that future would be a successful one in freeing the people from Egypt. When God calls one of His children to do something for Him they should already know that the outcome will be successful since God is actually the one performing the task through His children.
Moses then said to God, "Suppose I go to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' What should I tell them"? God answered Moses, "I Am Who I Am. This is what you must say to the people of Israel: 'I Am has sent me to you'" (Ex 3:13-14). God answered Moses without getting mad at Him for asking for an explanation of something he didn't know or understand. When God calls us, it is okay to ask questions to help us understand the direction He wants us to go in. we must realize that we don't have to know everything about God's plan for our lives, we just have to be ready to move forward when He says to go.
Either because he didn't want to go do this task for God, or whether Moses didn't want to be saddled as being crazy for saying that he was sent by God, we don't know from scripture. But Moses continues with the one excuse all of God's children have said at least once to God when called: "They will never believe me or listen to me!" Moses protested. "They will say, 'The LORD didn't appear to you'" (Ex 4:1). In today's culture and worldliness, these words are easy to say as an instant reflex before we again realize that God is in control of the calling and the task given to it. But, like a lot of people today, Moses didn't know this God very well having been raised as an Egyptian. So, God had to show Moses just who it was who was speaking to him. Through two very powerful illustrations, God proved to Moses just who He was. God first turned Moses' staff into a snake and back into a staff again. Then just to make sure He convinced Moses completely, God turned Moses' hand into a limb full of a flaky, white disease, and then turned it back into a healed hand again to show His compassion for those who suffer (Ex 4:2-8). Today, even if Christ were physically here, skeptical unbelievers would still not believe any of His miracles were genuine. Jesus even said that even if a man were raised from the dead unbelievers would still not be convinced (Lk 16:31). Through these two physical illustrations, God proved to Moses, as He proves to we who believe each day, that He is the Creator of all we see and don't see, and He is in firm control of all our lives, flesh and bone, wood and stone, heart and soul. But, just in case Moses wasn't believed, God gave him a sign to perform for the Egyptian audience; the turning of the Nile into blood (Ex 4:9).
Still Moses wasn't convinced that he, himself, was good enough to do what God wanted him to. So, he tried to find something that would make God leave him alone. Now, it is not known whether Moses had a speech impediment or not, but that didn't stop him from using his speaking abilities as an excuse. Moses said to God, "Please, Lord, I'm not a good speaker. I've never been a good speaker, and I'm not now, even though you've spoken to me. I speak slowly, and I become tongue-tied easily" (Ex 4:10). When God calls us, we, most times, feel as if He couldn't possible want us to do His will, so we look for excuses to get out of the call. It's hard to tell at this moment whether Moses was truly stating that he couldn't speak well, or if he really didn't want to do what God was asking. Today, we tend to not want to try because of our laziness or because we just don't have the time. In Moses case, as sometimes in ours, God had to assert His authority to show Moses just who is in charge and just who it was he was making excuses to. God asked Moses, in what could only be believed as a stern, authoritative, but yet loving voice, "Who gave humans their mouths? Who makes humans unable to talk or hear? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? It is I, the LORD! Now go, and I will help you speak and will teach you what to say" (Ex 4:11-12). Many times in scripture God has to remind humans of who He is our Creator. For we did not create Him, He created us.
But, yet, Moses still lets the Lord know that he does not want to do what God is asking, most likely out of fear that the Egyptians might kill him for murdering one of theirs. So, Moses begged God, "Please, Lord, send someone else" (Ex 4:13). Finally, God gets angry and settles the entire dispute by giving in to Moses' demand about his speaking habits. In His anger, He asked Moses, "What about your brother Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He's already on his way to meet you, and he will be very glad to see you. You will speak to him and tell him what to say. I will help both of you speak, and I will teach you both what to do. Aaron will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and you will be like God" (Ex4:14-16). And with one final command, God tells Moses to "Take that shepherd's staff with you, and use it to do the miraculous signs" (Ex4:17). Moses finally gives in and finds success as he leads the people out of bondage and into the freedom of God.
Through our hardships in life, God is continually showing us that He wants us to participate in what He has created. In our hardships, we are to look up to God as the only one who can heal us and help us through the pain we all have to suffer. But, when God calls us to perform a task for Him, we must, unlike Moses, remember just who God is and that it is He who is in charge of our lives and of the universe as well. Moses' conversation with God also shows us that God will not get mad at us or smite us if we ask Him questions. Even Job asked questions of God, but God did not smite Job, instead He gave him back ten times more than he had lost. We must trust that God will do all that needs to be done to finish any task He asks us to start. Learning to trust God happens through the hardships He sends our way. It is in our sufferings that we learn to trust God. Moses suffered forty years, as Jesus suffered for forty days, both learning that they could trust God with their lives. Granted, Moses took a few minutes longer on the mountaintop, but those few minutes affected his people for a lifetime.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture taken from GOD'S WORD, 1995 God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.
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