In the previous posts on Gideon, we examined how Gideon was trained to trust in the Lord step by step. Today, let’s look at Moses.
Gideon and Moses have a few things in common.
1) God saw the potential in both men even though they did not.
2) They were both a bit scared of carrying out God’s commands.
3) Both were trained to trust.
Moses is one of the most highly respected men in history. His commendations include:
- Author of the Pentateuch.
- Hero of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Meekest Man on Earth.
In light of all those glowing accolades, it’s rather surprising to think that he was actually afraid to carry out God’s command.
Exodus chapter 3-4 records God’s first meeting with Moses. As always, I suggest reading the chapters for yourself to get the full context.
Moses was tending his sheep when suddenly he saw a strange sight. It was a bush engulfed in flames but not consumed. That got Moses’ attention. When God sees Moses turn to check out this strange sight, he speaks through the bush. After a few brief words of introduction and explanation, the Lord says to Moses:
Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)
I can just picture Moses with a mixed look of terror and shock on his face…
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3.11)
Even though Moses had been brought up in the house of the Pharaoh, he had given all that up. He was only a humble shepherd now. He did not see what God saw.
[God] said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3.12)
God never gives a command and says, “Good luck! You’re on your own!” To Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” To Moses, he says, “But I will be with you…”
Do you ever feel like God is asking too much of you at a given time?
My friends, whenever God asks us to do something, He promises to be there every step of the way. These accounts in the Bible are there to teach us the faithfulness of God and how He cares for those who follow Him. We simply need to trust and obey. This is why reading the Bible daily is so important. It helps us develop our trust in God’s promises.
Leading hundreds of thousands of slaves out of most powerful nation of the known world is no mean feat. This is a monumental task! Moses is plagued by uncertainty, but God will train him to trust.
In chapter 4, Moses makes two excuses as to why he may not be the best candidate for the job. After each excuse, God provides a way around the self-perceived weakness.
Excuse#1: They won’t believe me.
Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’” (4.1)
Moses is saying, “Lord, if I go, they’re going to think I’m making this up!”
God is ready with an immediate solution. He has Moses actively participate in 2 miracles: Moses’ own staff turns into a serpent and then back into a staff, and Moses’ hand becomes leprous and then clean once more. Then God tells Moses, “if they still don’t believe, you will pour out water from the nile on to the ground and it will turn to blood.” Miracles in the Bible are often used to confirm that a person is sent from the Lord and that their message is true.
Excuse #2: I am not a good public speaker.
God is ready with another answer:
“Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4.11)
God is, in effect, telling Moses, “You just saw 3 miracles. I am the Lord that does those miracles. I am the Lord that made the mouth of man. Do you honestly think I can’t help you communicate My words to Pharoah? Don’t you trust Me?”
Finally, Moses can see that he is not going to get out of this commission using his excuses, so he says,
“Lord, please send someone else.”
Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you’ve even communicated those very words to God in prayer.
How many times do we find ourselves engulfed in circumstances that seem unmanageable? How many times are we called to do something and we just don’t see how we can accomplish it? As with Moses, God will never call us to do something and then abandon us. He will always be there to strengthen us, help us, and—best of all—be with us.
We are all called to different tasks during different seasons of our lives. It could be that in this season of life you are called to change diapers, wipe noses, kiss bruises and—above all—nurture a helpless little child. It could be that you are caring for an elderly parent that may or may not be a pleasant patient. Maybe you are working 12-hour days doing stressful or unpleasant work to provide for your family. You might be the student working full-time and schooling full-time with sleep and study crammed in between. Maybe you are called to be single and you aren’t sure how to cope with the loneliness. We often look at people like Moses and think that our job is unimportant by comparison. God has given you and me an appointed task for today. We need to carry it out with joy and diligence no matter how big or how small it may seem.
Above all else, we need to trust Him to provide what we need to accomplish our commission.
I love this quote from Elizabeth Elliot:
“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”
Moses asked God to send someone else, and unsurprisingly, God became angry. God provides one more solution: Aaron, Moses’ brother is a good speaker. I’ll tell you what to say, you pass it along to him and he will speak for you. Stop making excuses and get moving. (my paraphrase)
According to Exodus, Moses doesn’t say anything else, but as we read further, we see him proceed to carry out the command of the Lord.
The training of Moses has begun.
Tomorrow, I will list out the promises that God makes to Moses in chapters 3-4 and their subsequent fulfillment so that we can see with clarity how Moses was trained for the enormous task of leading the people out of Egypt and all the way to Canaan.
Do not be discouraged, my friends. Give your tasks to the Lord. Don’t ask someone else to do what has been appointed to you. Trust God to give you what you need to carry it out.