Okay, so I really feel like I have a ton of stuff to say but I can’t do it all in one posting because it would feel very scattered. Let’s be honest, I’m scattered enough so hopefully I will find time this week to post more often. I know…the idea of that is just shocking. 🙂
The college group at our church, Element (www.theelementsite.com), that Michael and I are on staff on is going through the book of Exodus. I’ve decided to take a break from Ezekiel and go through Exodus for my daily Bible Study also. As I was doing some studying the other day and reading about Moses, several things caught my attention. I’ll try to point them out to you in order. Warning: You may want to get out your Bible and follow along…I’m starting in chapter 3, verse1…
“Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning and not consumed.”
Okay, yes, that in itself is so cool to think about and imagine, right?? BUT, it’s the next verse that really grabbed me.
“And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.’ When the Lord saw the he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’
Did you catch it? Moses made the decision to turn and see the great sight. When God saw that Moses had made that decision, God called to him. I don’t think I had ever caught that before. I think in my head God had called out to Moses and Moses had then seen the bush and gone to check it out. It makes a difference, though, doesn’t it? I mean, if Moses hadn’t made the decision to turn and check it out, would God have called to him then? Would He have waited to call the first person that did make the decision to turn and check it out? I don’t know why this has affected me so, but it has. I don’t want to pass by anything and God not call me to do something for Him. I want to be ready and aware and willing to hear Him. I don’t want Him to not call out to me because I am oblivious to what He is doing. AND maybe God would have called out to Moses anyway, I don’t really know. I just know what the verse said…AGAIN verse 4 said, “When the Lord SAW that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ For me, that ‘s enough. I can’t play the “what if” game. I can only take from it what it says, and to me it says…BE AWARE! See what I am doing!! Don’t miss the moments or be so preoccupied with your own stuff that you miss the opportunities to turn aside. Or, heaven forbid, make the choice NOT to turn aside because you are just sooooo busy with your own stuff that you can’t be bothered. I want to be called out to by God. I want to hear His voice and see what He is doing around me as well as in my own life. Thank you Lord for this part in Your Word that serves as a wake-up call to us all to be aware of You and what You are doing.
Let’s keep going…There is still soo much more to learn from good ole’ Moses…You remember what happens next, right? God tells Moses to take off his sandals because he is standing on holy ground, and then makes Himself known to Moses with a great I AM statement. ” I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” That’s not the end of the story. God goes on to tell Moses that He has seen the affliction of the Hebrews in Egypt (they’re in slavery) and has heard their cry. He knows their sufferings and has come down to deliver them and to bring them out of that land and into a good land. Whew! Read it for yourself. Still in chapter 3, verses 7-8…
“Then the Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey…”
Take heart, dear ones. He sees your afflictions too. He hears your cries. He knows your sufferings, and He will deliver you. He has a great plan for you. A good and perfect plan. He is GOOD. He is God. Your land might not be flowing with milk and honey exactly…but it will be flowing with something! 🙂 Don’t be mistaken…sometimes getting to the deliverance is painful (as we see in the next few chapters) and He calls you to do something out of your comfort zone on the way to the deliverance. It’s okay… go with it. REALLY… You want to go with it. Remember, He is good! You being uncomfortable doesn’t change that, nor does it change the fact that He has a plan and wants to complete His good work.
Okay, so going on…God says to Moses that He is going to send Moses to Pharaoh to bring His people out of Egypt. But Moses says to God (oooohhhhh….Moses…..), “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Let’s call this excuse #1. We’ve all done it right? Felt the call, heard the call, whatever, and come up with an excuse of why you can’t follow that call or obey the call? Yeah…none of us have been immune to that I think. But God has an answer for him…of course. He says, “But I will be with you,” Wow…how many times have we lost sight of that fact?? I think we sometimes think, “Well, he called me to do this. He’s put this task before me,” and then we get in task mode like it all depends on us. It’s MY task right?!? It’s all up to me… WRONG! God says, ” But I will be with you!” You’re not doing anything on your own. I’m walking beside you, carrying you through this task, whatever. I’M WITH YOU! Oh yeah, baby!!! It’s getting good, huh?? That should be enough for us, right. God’s with me. I will go on to do whatever You call me to or ask of me, God, because I know You are with me. How do I know? You told me so! BUT, that’s not what Moses did…say it with me…ooooooohhhhh….Moses…..
Excuse #2=”If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘the God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name’ what shall I say to them?” Is Moses trying to weasel his way out of this task? Hmmm…But of course God has an answer…”I AM WHO I AM.” All caps in my Bible…and it ends with a period. No question about it. That excuse is nipped in the bud, right? Well…it should be at least it seems. As I look at it and reread it in all caps I am reminded of when my Daddy would tell me “Because I’m your father and I told you so…” God goes on to tell Moses what to do and what to say. He tells Moses what He is going to do. Should be enough right? I mean, Moses has the game plan from the ultimate coach! But, alas (love that word!), no…
Excuse #3=”But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.'” So, the Lord gives him signs to show them. His staff turning into a snake and then back again. His hand becoming leprous and then becoming clean again. And the last one, water from the Nile turning into blood as it hits the dry ground. Wow!! Spectacular! Don’t think you don’t have signs in your own life that He’s given you to use…what miracles has He done in your own life? What bondages has He set you free from, dear ones? What life has He given you where you were once dead?
Oooohhhh…Moses…. He’s not done with the excuses. Can you believe it????
Excuse #4=”Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Again, the Lord answers that excuse saying, “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.” Again, you’re not in control. I control these things says the Lord. Again, the Lord says, I will be with you…this time He’s specific…with your mouth. Nice, huh? So surely this is enough to light a fire under Moses, right? No…..
He doesn’t even bother with an excuse this time. He just puts the question before God, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Are you exhausted with Moses yet? I was. 🙂 Don’t miss the next verse. We’re in chapter 4 now at verse 14,
“Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, ‘Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.”
Okay, I am sure that Aaron coming into the picture never crossed my mind until just the other day when I was reading this. I mean, what about the song we sung as young children…Moses saying “Let my people go” to Pharaoh… That was Moses, right??? No. It was Aaron, speaking for Moses speaking for God. Complicated? In my head…Yes. I was reading this and kind of annoyed with Moses for all of the excuses and trying to get out of it. And then shocked when I realized that God gave the task to Aaron as well. I did not remember really ever hearing that…or maybe I just wasn’t paying good enough attention. I will admit that is totally conceivable. But…really? Moses didn’t get out of going on the task and being a part of it all. He stood beside Aaron as Aaron spoke to the people and Pharaoh. Aaron was the mouthpiece. I don’t know about you…but I don’t want to kindle God’s anger so that He chooses someone else to do His work. And I certainly don’t want to stand by watching somebody else doing my calling/task in life because I was stubborn or scared, do you? Again, ooooohhhh….Moses….
Where are you at, dear friends? Are you making excuses? Even going so far as to ask to not be the one He sends or uses? OR are you saying, “Yes, Lord. Send me. Use me. I know that You are with me.” I want to be the latter.