We are smack dab in the middle of Lent. Lent is the season in the church year before Easter where we reflect on the work Christ has done for us on the cross, remember our baptism, and reflect on what Christ’s love means for us as His child.
This Lent I am reading through the book of Exodus. It is one of my favorites. One of the things that sticks out to me is Moses and his encounter with God at the burning bush. (Exodus 3:1 – 4:17) I find Moses extremely relatable because if you read through the story Moses has just about every question or excuse for God not to use him to help lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Lets walk through the story together.
First, God tells Moses that He sees the misery of His people and is going to rescue them from the Egyptians. God says he is going to lead them into a good and spacious land. God then tells Moses, “I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Ex 3:10)
Moses is a bit reluctant. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (3:11)
God’s answer is simple. “I will be with you.”
Here is where the questions and excuses really start. I picture Moses to be pacing with one hand on his hip and one hand on his chin because at this point he is a little panicked about what God just asked him to do. He then asks God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (3:13). Again, God gives Moses a straight answer, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.” God gives Moses a few more instructions and then Moses has ANOTHER question even though God has reassured him that He would be with him.
“What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” (4:1) At this point I find it comical the questions Moses is asking because of how relatable they are. How many times have I done the same thing? Anyway, let us continue.
Moses asks God this question and God gives him three miraculous signs to show them. The first one being Moses’ staff being thrown on the ground and becoming a snake. The second is Moses putting his hand into the cloak, it turning leprous, and then becoming normal again. The third sign is Moses taking water from the Nile and pouring it over dry land. The water would then turn to blood.
This is where I imagine major panic has set in Moses’ mind. After seeing God show him that he would be with him and showing him these miraculous signs to help prove it, Moses has another excuse thrown up his sleeve to pull out. One more thing that will maybe sway God to ask someone else to do it.
Moses says, “O 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.” At this point I feel as though we can all relate to the questions Moses is asking, but this is not even the best one. God tells Moses he will help him speak and teach him what to say.
Finally, Moses just gets right to the point and says, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
(Cringing face happening as I read this part)
Am I the only person who can relate to the feelings behind these questions? In our women’s Bible study on Wednesdays we have been talking about how we can share the good of Jesus with others. We talk about how those opportunities come at random times and sometimes you might be caught off guard and how it can be a little intimidating to come up with what you want to say right on the spot. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect thing to say when we should really be honest and vulnerable and share how we have seen God work in our lives and let the Spirit help guide what to say because He will.
It is really easy for us to shove off opportunities for things when they come our way because it might be scary or hard or inconvenient. When faced with intimidating opportunities we might think things like I do not have the skills for this, I do not have the time for this, I do not the courage for this. God will you please get someone else to do it?!
I will let you think for yourself if you have had a thought like that, but I know I have.
I believe those thoughts come from trying to do it all yourself and being your own savior when we should be leaning on God, who actually is our savior, for support, strength, and wisdom to make the most of the opportunities He presents us. We can rest on the promise that God will be with us through everything. This is a promise made over and over again throughout the Old and New Testaments. Next time a seemingly overwhelming or scary opportunity comes up lean on God and know He is with you through it all.
Until next week,
Peace and Love.