Have you ever felt woefully unprepared for a task? Maybe you felt under-qualified. Or maybe after getting into your project you felt like you got in way over your head. No matter what the situation or circumstances might be, I’m sure we’ve all had a moment or two like that—a moment of panic and feeling completely out of our element.
But don’t worry; even the mighty heroes of the faith had moments like these. In fact, Moses—the mighty and fearless deliver of Israel—felt unprepared for the task God gave him. He actually made several attempts to excuse himself from his calling. So let’s take a look at what happened and see what lessons we can glean from Moses’ attempt at by-passing his God-given mission.
But before we jump into our passage today, let’s give some back story. God gave Moses three miraculous signs to prove to the Jewish leaders that God had in fact appeared to Moses. These signs were amazing and awesome. They were not things you’d see every day. A staff turning into a snake and not just an ordinary snake, but a viper. Something menacing enough that even Moses ran away from it, even though he watched it turn from a wooden staff. A perfectly normal hand being made completely leprous—a disease that in biblical times would cause death and outcast one from society. Moses was pretty shocked when this one happened, but then God restored his hand and made it whole again. And lastly, water turning to blood. Moses was to take water from the Nile River—the life of Egypt—and pour it out on the ground and God would turn it into blood.
These were the ways God was going to prove to Israel His power and authority. And Moses witnessed two of the three signs while in the presence of God. And yet, he still had doubts that plagued him and, therefore, had the audacity to attempt to excuse himself from his divine assignment.
“But Moses said to the LORD, ‘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.’ Then the LORD said to him, ‘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.’ But he said, ‘Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.’”
Wow! Look at all the excuses Moses had! Remember, this was a man raised in the palace of a king. He was well educated and familiar with government and the protocol required in the presence of royalty. Yet, Moses still felt under-qualified. He gave God many excuses why he wasn’t the right guy.
But look at God’s response. The LORD, the same One who showed His power in the miraculous signs He performed just minutes earlier, utters a powerful reply. God is the Creator of all things and can do seemingly impossible things. So we should never doubt His power and ability to give us all that we need to fulfill our divine purpose. As the LORD promised Moses, “I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
However, this wasn’t enough for Moses. He was still too busy looking at his own personal weaknesses to see and trust God’s power. So his reply to God’s powerful promise is, “Please send someone else!” As Warren Wiersbe commentated, Moses verbally acknowledged God as Lord but didn’t act like He was Lord.
How often are we guilty of the same? How often do we let our perceived weaknesses hinder us from fulfilling our divine assignments in life? How often do we take our eyes off of God’s power and His promises and fix them upon our shortcomings and inabilities?
With God all things are possible. He can do the miraculous. And it is in times like these that God wants us to rely on Him. He doesn’t want our weaknesses or feelings of inadequacy to keep us from doing the work He’s called us to.
Moses’ complaining didn’t get him out of doing the job God gave him. Instead, it caused him a later heartache as Aaron, the mouthpiece God gave him after all his complaining, leads the Israelites into idolatry at the base of Mount Sinai. We should always be wary when God gives us our own way.
So the next time you feel under-qualified for the task set in front of you, remember the story of Moses and don’t let your weaknesses hinder you from your divine calling!
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