I think out of all the characters in the Bible, Moses is probably the one I can relate to the most. Many people probably think of this great man holding high a staff over the Red Sea as he proclaims in a booming voice, “Stand still and see the salvation of God!” The water then parts, and the children of Israel move miraculously over dry ground where once the sea had been flowing. It’s true that Moses was greatly used by God, but he did not start out as some great pillar of strength. I believe when God called him to deliver the nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage, he was scared to death. He certainly had many doubts that the Lord could really use him as is evidenced in the conversation he has with God in Exodus 3 and 4.
Exo 3:9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
Exo 3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Exo 3:11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
Here, Moses expresses his first doubt. “Lord, who am I that you would send me to Pharoah?”
One of the things that I have learned in living for God is that we don’t have to be “someone” for God to be able to use us. We don’t need to have a Ph.D after our name or come from a wealthy family to be used by God. A willing heart will take us much farther in God than pedigree.
Exo 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
Here Moses expresses his doubt that Pharoah and the Egyptians will not believe the he has been sent to them by God. The Lord goes on in verses 2-9, reassuring Moses that He will be with him and that God would give miraculous signs through the hand of Moses.
Exo 4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
Here Moses expresses his concern over not being much of a public speaker. God basically tells Moses that He is the maker of all mouths, the maker of the deaf, the maker of the dumb and the maker of those who see and those that are blind. He assures Moses again that He will be with him and that He will teach Moses what to say. From these doubts that Moses expressed, I think it would be safe to say that his focus was on his insufficiencies and weaknesses rather than the power and strength of God. Oh, I can so relate to this, for it’s something I have struggled with off and on for as long as I can remember! All of my life I have battled with shyness and insecurity to some degree, although I don’t struggle with it now as much as I did in the past. I still remember clearly the first time I had to speak in front of a group of people. I was in 2nd grade, and each child in our class was required to give a book report. I remember being called on to come and take my turn and slowly approaching the front of the classroom with my Bobbsey Twins book in my hand. You’ll never guess what came out of my mouth as I stood in front of my classmates. Absolutely nothing! I was so petrified I could not say a word, and so I stood there speechless for what seemed like ages. Finally, my teacher told me I could sit down and try again the next day. Somehow, the following day I was able to give my book report, although my voice shook quite a bit. There have been times since then when called upon to do something for the Lord that I have argued in my mind,
“No way, Lord. I don’t have what it takes to be a ladies’ auxiliary leader and speak in front of the ladies and plan events and help raise funds. I don’t have the right kind of personality for the job.”
“Me, a pastor’s wife? But pastor’s wives are gracious and always know what to say to people. They never get impatient when their husband has been counseling someone for 3 hours. Their houses are beautifully decorated, they make gorgeous clothes for their kids, they always look like a million bucks too and they can pray confidently with anyone at the altar. Not me, Lord.”
I wonder if Moses suffered from the same thing I do. Maybe he had this built up image in his mind of what the “perfect leader” would be like, and subconsciously, he was comparing himself to this and always falling short. Maybe Moses learned what I learned, but sometimes have to be reminded of again when I forget. God doesn’t call the qualified, but He does qualify those that He calls. His grace really is sufficient for us. If we totally had our act together, then we wouldn’t feel the need to depend on God, and God wants to link or inability with His great ability.
Exo 4:13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.
Exo 4:14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
I think it’s interesting to note too that in verse 13 of Exodus 14, Moses finally tells God to please send someone else. Verse 14 tells us that the Lord became angry with Moses, but even though He was angry, He was still willing to work with Moses and told him that Aaron his brother would come along with him and be his spokesperson. If I were God, I think I would have said to Moses, “Uh, look buddy, what part of “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE” don’t you understand?” I believe that God is longsuffering, not only in reaching for people to come to salvation but in giving those who already have come to Him time and space to develop our Christian character and gain a deeper understanding of His grace, sufficiency, power, love,etc. I certainly am glad that He’s still working on me!