Exodus 3:1-15; 4:10-17
From The Pastor Devotionals – Temple Baptist Church in Montreal
Moses’ life story is a very interesting one. He went from being an abandoned child to an Egyptian Prince; from a murderer to a fugitive; from a shepherd to a negotiator, a miracle worker, the leader of a nation, a theologian, a supreme court judge, a messenger of God, a law-giver, and more. Let’s take a look at Moses, the shepherd, and his special conversation with God.
When Moses went out with his sheep one morning, he could not have anticipated meeting with God; this was a day just like all the other thousands of days he had spent tending his flock. But this was to be a special day for him. He was going to meet God. This is a good reminder to us that we must always be ready: We never know what God has planned for us.
Through the burning bush, God appeared to Moses and revealed His glory (verse 1). Then He called Moses, who responded: “Here I am” (verse 4).
Do we hear God’s voice? Are we tuned to Him? Moses was! He responded as if he had expected to hear God’s voice. Are we sensitive to God’s voice, even in the most unlikely places and situations?
God is a living and loving God, full of compassion, ready to help. In verses 7 and 8, we read: “I have seen the misery… I have heard their cry… I am concerned… I have come to rescue them!”
What a message of grace! What a wonderful God! He sees, He hears, He cares and He rescues. And, very often, He uses people to do it, people like you and me.
God called Moses for service, saying: “So now, go, I am sending you!” (verse 10). God had prepared Moses for 80 years for the job and now the time had come. But, sadly, Moses did not immediately reply, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!” Instead, he questioned God.
Wasn’t he (Moses) a failure? Did he not have a family and business? Was he not too old? Was he not rejected by his people? Perhaps some of these and other arguments went through Moses’ mind, but at least four objections were voiced that day as Moses argued with God’s will for his life:
1. Who am I?
Moses used this to start his argument. We may admire Moses for his humility. After all: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” (Acts 7:22).
Forty years of training and discipline as a shepherd in the desert had humbled him. But he had become also very comfortable in what he was doing, shepherding a flock of sheep. He was content with what he had. Are we not the same way?
God wanted Moses to become a great shepherd and lead his nation out of bondage and into the promise land, but Moses could not see it that way at all. He was happy with what he had. Even though God reassured Moses of His presence by saying, “I will be with you” (verse 12), Moses still doubted God’s will and plans.
Humanly speaking, we can understand Moses. The Jews would want to know on what authority he was asking them to move to an unknown place. So God very patiently revealed His name: Jehovah ‘”I AM WHO I AM'” (verse 14). And then He went to great lengths to reassure Moses of His help and guidance and gave him His promise that the move would be successful.
But Moses continued to argue with God. He asked:
2. What if they do not believe me?
God had just said that they would believe him (3:18), so this statement was nothing but unbelief! God had given him His promise and the tools to do the work but Moses continued to argue.
3. I am slow of speech and tongue.
God had just said, “I AM,” and all Moses could say was, “I am not.” Moses was looking at himself and his weaknesses instead of at God and His power. What about you and I? How often do we use the same excuse?
God said: “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
At this point, you would have thought that Moses finally got it, right? Wrong! He continued to protest but he was running out of excuses.
4. Please Lord, send someone else to do it.
God did almost everything for Moses, short of doing the job Himself, but Moses still said “no.” Now, what would you do if you were in God’s place. Would you get angry and send Moses away? Or would you walk away from him? God did get angry. The Lord’s anger burned against Moses. But He did not walk away. Instead, He gave him Aaron, his brother, to be his helper. But Aaron turned out to be more of a hindrance than help. Aaron led the nation into idolatry and murmuring.
What about you and me? Are we not all called to serve God? Yes, God is calling you and me to serve Him with whatever gifts we have. All of us, without exception, have gifts. The call may come through a burning bush, a letter, an announcement, a pastor, etc.
The call may be to lead a nation or a small group of two or three, a large church congregation or a small Sunday School class, or even just one person in need of direction. You may have been called to teach, help in the nursery, dust the pews. Whatever you are called to do, the call is there, but what will your response be? “Here am I. Send me!” or “Not me, Lord. Send someone else”?
We must “serve him wholeheartedly.” (Ephesians 6:7) You don’t have to be perfect or have extraordinary gifts to serve God! You just have to be willing to serve Him. What is important to God is not our ability, but our availability!
You may think you don’t have great gifts to be used in His service. You may think you may not be able to please God and others. You may have a thousand and one reasons you can’t serve God and others. But God knows best. He knows you and He knows that He can use you!
All God wants from you is your willingness to serve. The rest is His job.
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian