He Chose You
The story of Moses has always fascinated me, from his birth and being sent down the Nile to his death and never seeing the promise land. I can see myself in Moses, being called but feeling under qualified, running from said calling and then being chased down by our merciful God. Moses was a leader to an ungrateful people - he bartered with God to spare His wrath. However, what stands out the most about the life of Moses was his obedience. Reading through Exodus 4:1-17 one theme sticks out - obedience is an action, truly trusting in who God is and what He commands requires action.
Exodus 4:1-7 (New International Version)
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.” Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow. “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
I don't know about you but if God asked me to pick up a snake by the tail, I'd have a hard side eye and pursed lips. How many times has God told us to do something and our initial reaction is "what if they don't believe me"? What if I go up to this person and tell them "God said..." or what will happen if I share what I'm struggling with and I'm rejected? Moses has doubts even though he's spent time with God and trusts God. I love God's response in this passage because He isn't a "because I said so" Sovereign. God doesn't condemn Moses or think he's stupid for his fear instead He says here, let Me show you who you are. God doesn't simply perform a magic trick for Moses but requires him to participate in the miracle by using what God's already given him.
Three key points stand out to me:
1. Moses trusts God because he has spent time building this relationship with God.
2. Because Moses trusts God, he knows God wouldn't ask something of him that would harm him - if God asks, there's a very good reason why.
3. Moses felt fearful, he ran away from the snake. However, he came back and obeyed God - without his participation, there'd be no lesson.
Exodus 4:8-17 (NIV)
Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.” Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 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. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”
Isn't it funny how we tell God who we are, as if He isn't the one who formed us and numbered the hairs on our head? Here God is again, reminding not just Moses but all of us who He is. God doesn't pity Moses or fix his speech, He commands Moses to go - and He will be with him. Even after God's reassurance Moses still isn't contented. God was probably like "seriously Moses, I just gave you leprosy and then healed you. I know speech is difficult for you but hey buddy, I STILL CHOOSE YOU." Even being angered, God still provided for Moses by sending his brother Aaron as a helper and reminding Moses again to use what He's given him - his staff. God knows what you need exactly when you need it but again, you have to ask.
We, like Moses, test God - we question His choice of us, we're fearful of the task He's placed in front of us. Each time I study a passage in the Bible, whether old or new testament, I'm amazed at how applicable it still is today. How awe-inspiring it is to find commonality as a white suburban woman with a Jewish middle-eastern man like Moses because we are both children of the Most High. However, we have something Moses didn't - Jesus. A being fully man and fully God, who felt fear and deep sadness but obeyed the commands of His Father anyway. We have the Holy Spirit as our helper ready to intercede and offer insight. Like Moses, we have to feel the fear and do it anyway. You posses everything you need, use what God's placed in your hand for His Kingdom and glory. True holy deliverance happens when we participate in the miracle God is waiting to offer us.
New International Version(NIV). Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.