“Moses raised another objection to God: ‘Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer’”
Exodus 4:10 (The Message).
The last time we were together I spoke about how I’m a risk taker wanna be. Today I want to continue by talking about how that’s relevant to Moses and Joseph, Biblical men with very different personalities. God was able to use both of them to fulfill His plans in mighty ways because of their faith in Him and obedience to His plans.
If you study Moses, you will see in Exodus how he, an Israelite, grew up as Pharaoh’s grandson, the man who tried to kill him at birth (Exodus 2). Once he became an adult, he killed an Egyptian slave master who was beating an Israelite slave. He had compassion for his people but was a tad impulsive. After hiding out in the desert for forty years, God approached him through a burning bush and said He had an important job for him. He wanted Moses to free the Israelites and lead them across the desert to the Promised Land.
What was Moses’ response? His initial response when God calls him is to say, “Here I am” (Exodus 3:4b, NIV). That’s a good response. He shows his desire to be obedient to God. Then, when God reveals the part He wants Moses to play in freeing the Israelites from the Pharaoh, that’s when Moses starts in with first questions, then excuses. He spends the rest of Chapter 3 and half of Chapter 4 trying to convince God he isn’t the right person. God patiently answers his questions for clarification and even gives Moses miraculous signs to use to prove it is God who is demanding the Israelites’ freedom. Yet, how does Moses respond? He responds by reminding God he is “slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10, NIV). Finally, God had enough and it says in verse 13, “Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses…”
Now, that sounds like something I would do. Instead of being a risk taker who responds with, “Awesome, where do I sign up?” I can see myself reminding God I will need a car seat with a five-point harness since my four-year-old will have to come along, snacks for three kids (quite a few since I have a teenager now too), and don’t forget some air conditioning if possible since I get crabby when there’s too much humidity. However, my questions to God instead took the form of, “Are you sure this is what You want me to do? How do I know for sure? Could you please give me one more sign that I’m on the right path? I’m sorry to keep asking, but I don’t want to miss what You’re saying and without the billboard screaming at me with neon lights, I might miss it.”
And, just like with Moses, God continue(s) to patiently meet me where I am. He doesn’t yell at me, doesn’t get frustrated that I need one more sign, and doesn’t hold it against me that my natural inclination is to be prepared before I jump. If you read the story of the Israelites journey in the desert, you’ll see Moses messed up more than once, yet God was always there with him, every step of the way. It wasn’t until Moses deliberately disobeyed a command God gave to him and Aaron that he forfeited the blessing of entering the Promised Land. However, that was due to a consequence of disobedience, not because God was mad at him or impatient or because he was scared, unsure, or not a natural risk taker.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell