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Moses: “I am Afraid” (part 2)


If we were to ask Moses to tell us about himself at the end of Exodus chapter 2, he would self describe as an 80 year old man with a past, who has found himself living the simple life of a shepherd in the Midian desert.
God had other plans for Moses and called him to return to Egypt to deliver the people of God from slavery. Moses was understandably reluctant to accept such a large assignment. His reluctance was so great he determined to argue with God about his personal worthiness. He does so by making five telling objections.

Objection #1: “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11)
In other words, Moses offers that he doesn’t think he can handle the assignment. One might note that he had already tried once to deliver an Israelite from the hand of an Egyptian taskmaster resulting in the taskmaster’s death. In response to his question, God offered his presence. He said, “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12).

Objection #2: “What is your name?” (Exodus 3:13)
With this question, Moses is seeking authority. Names are necessary for relationships. It is the first thing one does when meeting a new person. If someone withholds their name, they are maintaining relational distance. Names signify intimacy, closeness and availability. In response, God provided not only his name, but a promise. In the following verses God outlined exactly what he was going to do through Moses (Exodus 3:14-22). And every word of his promise came true. But that still wasn’t enough.

Objection #3: “What if they don’t believe me?” (Exodus 4:1)
God’s answer to this question is interesting. “What is in your hand?” In Moses hand was his shepherd’s staff. One might assume that he used it with his livestock for a two-fold purpose–to provide direction and for protection. The point here is that from this moment in the story, the staff of Moses would be called the staff of God. The common, everyday item became uncommon when placed in the hands of almighty God (Exodus 4:2-9). God provided his power and enablement for Moses to accomplish the task he was called to perform.

Objection #4: “I am not eloquent.” (Exodus 4:10)
Moses appears to be reaching at this point. In Stephen’s sermon of Acts 7, he called Moses, “powerful in both speech and action” (Acts 7:22). Perhaps Moses has lost his confidence in Egyptian palace protocol. Nonetheless, God stated that he would provide Moses with the words he would need to speak (Exodus 4:11-12).

Objection #5: “Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13)
Moses is finally reduced to admitting he didn’t want the assignment. God had pledged his presence, had made his promise, had offered his power, and guaranteed for his provision. God’s final response was to commend to Moses a partner for the task, his brother Aaron.

Do you hear or see yourself in any of these objections? Has fear caused you to become reluctant to respond to God’s invitation to serve him? The resources God provided Moses are the same resources he offers us today.

Categories : Jars of Clay

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