November 22, 2021
This week we read Exodus 1-8. The beginning of Exodus reminds us about Israel’s sons who went to Egypt after Joseph forgave them. There God told them to multiply and that is what they did. Over time there was a new Pharoah, and he did not remember Joseph. He was worried that the many Israelites would plan a war against the Egyptians, so he enslaved the them. Remember, this was foretold to Abram in Genesis 15:13 “Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there”.
The more the Israelites were oppressed, the more they multiplied. Eventually, the Pharoah wanted the baby boys to be thrown in the Nile River and killed. One mother could not do this so she placed her son Moses in a basket and sent him down the river. Pharoah’s daughter saw him and wanted him as her own. She had the mother nurse him until he was older, then the mother gave her son to Pharoah’s daughter and he became her son.
When Moses was older, he saw Egyptians beating a Hebrew, and he killed the Egyptian. He then saw two Hebrew men fighting so he asked them why they were fighting. They asked who made him ruler and are you going to kill us like you killed the Egyptian.
At that point Moses feared for his life. Pharoah found out he had killed the Egyptian, and he wanted Moses dead. Moses fled for his life and went to Midian. He was 40 years old at the time. There he found a wife and had a child, and became a shepherd. Moses lived in the area for 40 more years.
One day Moses was leading his sheep to Horeb, the mountain of God. Moses heard God speaking from a burning bush. God told Moses that he was going to rescue the Israelites from slavery and He wanted Moses to speak with the elders of the Israelites, and to Pharoah and be the one who would lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Moses did not feel he was the right person for this job. While he grew up in the Pharoah’s home, Pharoah hated him because he killed an Egyptian. The Hebrew slaves hated him as well, thinking he was going kill them like he did the Egyptian. This is why Moses fled to Midian. Now he had been a shepherd for 40 years, and did not feel he was qualified for the large task God asked of him. Moses did not want to obey God and had many excuses. This is where we are going to pick up in the story.
The following words describe how Moses felt about himself or how he acted.
- Unqualified: Exodus 3:11 Moses said, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
- Unsure: Exodus 3:13 Moses asked, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they as me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
- Unbelievable: Exodus 4:1 Moses asked, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me…”
- Unable: Exodus 4:10 Moses tells God, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past or since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
- Unwilling: Exodus 4:13 Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
Think about this. Mighty God is speaking from a Bush and asking Moses to complete a task for him. Even with this type of trust that God shows Moses, Moses feels he is not the right person and gives him all of the above excuses.
Each time Moses makes an excuse, God comes back with a way he will empower him. God will be:
- Present: Exodus 3:12 “I will be with you.”
- Powerful: Exodus 3:13-14 “I AM WHO I AM…I AM has sent me to you.” (The God who is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, and sovereign has sent you to speak).
- Personal: Exodus 13:15 “ God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[a] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. ’This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”
- Provider of miracles: Exodus 4:3-5 The Lord gave Moses miracles to show to the Israelites with the staff, hand, and water.
- Partner: Exodus 4:11 “The LORD said to him, “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? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
- Provider of alternatives: Exodus 4:14 “What about your brother Aaron…He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.”
Think about the promises God made to Moses when Moses was afraid and not wanting to do the task God set out for him.
Have you ever felt like Moses? God called you to a certain task and you felt unqualified or fearful so you just did not do it or made excuses. I know this has happened to me in the past. I have wondered why God would ask me to do something that I was not qualified or experienced to do.
I actually felt this way about starting this blog. I felt that God wanted me to write this blog. I kept delaying the start because I didn’t know what I was doing and writing does not come easy for me. I still feel this way at times. I just have to remember that God is with me when I am writing. He is much more powerful than my fear. He is personal and knows me. He is in relationship with me and will provide whatever I need to get the blog finished. He may even provide a miracle. God is my partner and will help me through this. I just need to pray for His Holy Spirit to provide wisdom to know what to write about and how to say it. And if I am so fearful, he will provide an alternative helper in order to get the job done.
Are you feeling called to do something for the Lord? Are you overwhelmed with the task? Remember how God wanted to help Moses, and maybe this will help you take your first step.
Next week we will read Exodus 9 through 19. This will get us to the 10 commandments. Have a great week.