Friday, November 23, 2012

Moses’ Fifth and Last Objection To His Calling -- Exodus 4:13-17

But he said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever Thou wilt.”  Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses, and He said, “Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite?  I know that he speaks fluently.  And moreover, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.  And you are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do.  Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and it is shall come about that he shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be as God to him.  And you shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.”

Sometimes I think the word ‘but’ should be banned from our lexicon of words to be used when speaking to the Almighty God.  Then upon further reflection, I realize that God can well handle the ‘buts’ we so often cry out to Him, thank you very much.  He wants us to share our concerns and objections with what He may be asking or doing or not doing because He is indeed able to answer them.  He is also able to give us what we need as we move forward in faith, to carry out His will.

So, it is with Moses, as he tries for the fifth time now to change God’s mind with respect to the assignment He is giving him.   And he even pleads saying, “Please, Lord”.  And what is it Moses is begging God to do?  Well, it’s to send someone else, anybody else, anybody but Moses.  Most of you reading this know the end of the story, so you can imagine what Moses would have missed had God listened to his plea.

Can you imagine knowing the almighty God and turning down His invitation to be part of a great step in His plan for mankind?  [I recently saw the movie Lincoln and I realized that Lincoln was so in tune with not missing the opportunity God was giving him to end slavery in America.  Can you imagine where we would all be today if he didn’t take that risk to do God’s bidding?]  Can you imagine what excitement you could miss if God agreed with your objections to His assignment and gave you a day (or a life for that matter) off?  I would not to miss what He had in store for me.  God picks the very best for us when He hands out His assignments.  He does not want us to miss these opportunities to be further molded and developed in His service.
So it was with Moses and thus the Scripture says, “the anger of the Lord burned against Moses”.   Not a good place to be in, Moses.  Not a good place for any of us to be in – having the anger of the Lord raging against us.  But even at that, God continues to provide a way for Moses to understand that he could do this and that God will be with him.  God knew about Moses’ brother Aaron who did speak fluently (unlike Moses with his stuttering problem).  God knew Aaron was also eager to do what God wanted done.   God would give Moses the words He wanted him to share.  Moses would speak those privately to Aaron.  Aaron would eloquently speak them to the people of Israel and later to the ruler of Egypt.  “And by the way, Moses, don’t forget to take along this staff with which I showed you that you can perform the necessary signs.”

What is the significance of God’s mentioning that Aaron was “coming out to meet” Moses and that he would be “glad in his heart when he sees you”?  Let me suggest this. God knows about the fact that we cannot do everything He asks us to do alone.  So He gives us Brothers and Sisters who are seriously interested, not in their agenda, but in helping as achieve what God would have us do.  I see this in the missions that I am involved in and I see it in my own personal life.  These are people that rejoice in being partners with us.  But in these few verses we also find an awesome responsibility for those that are being helped – perhaps for you and I.

God says to Moses, “I will be with your mouth” and “I will teach you what you are to do”.  And later on, Aaron “will speak for you” and “you shall be as God to him.”  Consider the implication of that for us who lead.   Yes, God will give us helpers.  But we are to get our instructions from God and pass them on to them.  These are not to be the instructions we make up, but the instructions that God gives us.  The responsibility on us as leaders to be in good communion and relationship with God is great.  And the way we are to treat and deal with the partners He has given us (be it our spouse, our family, our team, our friends) is to be like God to them.  In this case, this means we are to treat them with love, kindness, godly direction, and so on.

And let us not forget that besides those that are to help us, we hold in our hands the tools God has given us to do the tasks He has assigned us.  The Word of God, His Promises, and the Holy Spirit are our “staff” which we hold and as He directs, we can do wonders and perform the signs He would have us perform.

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