Moses: Reluctant Representative


10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. Exodus 4:10-12 KJV

Excuses. We all have them for ourselves, and other people come up with them for us sometimes. How many times have we avoided doing something, because we didn’t feel equipped to do it… or maybe others thought we couldn’t do it… or we just plain didn’t want to do it?

There is a saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.” That is a very true statement that is demonstrated over and over again in the Bible. Abraham and Sara both believed themselves too old to have the children promised by the Lord. Jeremiah told the Lord that he was too young. Isaiah said that he had unclean lips. Jonah just tried his best to run away from the Lord. David was the youngest of eight sons, and not expected to do much more than shepherd sheep. Esther, though queen, was only a woman of Hebrew descent in the Persian empire. The list goes on and on. Each one of those people, both men and women, went on to serve the Lord in mighty ways because HE chose THEM to carry out His plans.

I have always been fascinated with the story of Moses. From his birth in Exodus 2 to his death in Deuteronomy 34, we have a very detailed history of him and his service to God and to the children of Israel.

Born at a time when Pharaoh had ordered that male Hebrew babies be killed, Moses’ mother hid him in a basket in the reeds of the Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby, and took him to be her own. She even allowed his mother to become a wet-nurse to him. Moses rose in prominence in Egypt, and was viewed as an Egyptian prince because of his adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter.

He was aware, however, of his Hebrew beginnings. The Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh. After Moses was a grown man, he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave and he killed the Egyptian and hid the body. The King found out and was enraged at Moses. This led to Moses fleeing to Midian, near Sinai. Moses married the daughter of Jethro, the priest, and started his life anew as a shepherd.

After Pharaoh died, the Lord heard the Hebrew slaves crying out to Him. He remembered His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He had compassion on the Israelites. The Lord God came down to deliver them. In Midian, as Moses tended his flock, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him from within a burning bush. God told Moses that He wanted him to go to Pharaoh, secure the freedom of the children of Israel, and lead them to the promised land that He had vowed to give to them generations ago.

Moses came up with a few questions and concerns:

“Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)

In our language today, to me that equates “Who me??? Why Me??? Nobody will listen to me. Pharaoh?? He is very displeased with me. That is why I fled here to Midian. Are you sure, Lord?”

Well, of course, The Lord was sure. He knew Moses before He created him in his mother’s womb. He knew all about Moses. He knew of his shortcomings, and of his good qualities, and even how many hairs were on his head. Yes, The Lord God knew exactly who Moses was! The Lord told Moses that He would be with him throughout it all. The Lord also knew Pharaoh. Even though Pharaoh wasn’t a follower of God, God was indeed the one who created him, and He knew all about him.

Next, Moses asked, “… when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?’ (Exodus 3:13)

The Lord told him to tell them that I AM sent him. He told Moses to remind them that the Lord God was the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that they would know Him as I AM. God told Moses to let the children of Israel know that He had heard their cries for help and that Moses was there to deliver them by the Hand of the Great I AM.

Yet, Moses still had fear, “they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. “ (Exodus 4:1)

Rather than thinking that the Israelites would take his word that I AM had sent him, he told the Lord that he didn’t believe that they would believe him. So, The Lord gave him signs and wonders to show to the Israelites to demonstrate that the power of The Lord was upon Moses.

Finally, Moses had one last protest. “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. (Exodus 4:10)

Again, in our language, “Lord, I don’t know what to say or how to say it! What if I say the wrong thing? I’ve never done this sort of thing. I don’t think I’m up to the task.”

The Lord reminded Moses that He had made the very mouth and tongue of which Moses complained. Though the Lord’s anger was kindled against Moses for his disbelief and reluctance, the Lord did have compassion upon Moses and told him that his brother, Aaron, could go with him and speak for him.

All of us who have read the story of Moses know that he went on to accomplish many many great things for the Lord. He allowed the Lord to lead him and work through him to free the Hebrews. The Lord through Moses delivered the law to His children. Moses was obedient even when his followers weren’t. He was their earthly leader. He listened to their grumbling when they were hungry, and then when they didn’t appreciate the food that The Lord provided for them. He interceded with the Lord on their behalf. Moses fulfilled his calling from The Lord, and when he was 120 years old he died. Before his death, The Lord graciously showed him from atop Mount Pisgah the land that He had promised to His people. The Bible tells us that despite Moses’ age, his sight was still good and so was his health. The Lord buried Moses Himself, and to this day, no man knows the place. Surely, the Lord loved Moses – just as He loves us.

From an orphan to a prince; a murderer to a deliverer; one of weak faith to a confident leader… Moses was a great leader and did mighty things because he did follow the Lord and was obedient to Him. The Lord provided for him and for his followers throughout it all.

We too, can be used mightily for the furtherance of His Kingdom. Let’s not question Him. Believer, know that He knows who we are, what we have done, and what we can do. He will give us the words to speak. He will show others that we belong to Him, and by our obedience, others will indeed know Whom has sent us. Let us be confident in His Wisdom, His Authority, His Perfect Plan, His Compassion, His Patience and His Lovingkindness towards and for His children.

Truly, we know that He loves us. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to teach us, to live a perfect and sinless life, to take OUR sins upon Himself and to die for us, and to rise again – so that we can spend eternity in His presence. He has provided for us the Bread of Life and the Living Water in the perfect Sacrifice to save our souls. All of this, is not because He doesn’t know us… but rather because He does. Trust Him today.

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