A few weeks ago I preached on the call of Moses (Exodus 3:1-4:17). Here are a few thoughts:
The call of God is a very individual thing. He chose to speak to Moses from a burning bush—something that has never been done before or since. Don’t expect Him to speak to you in the exact same way He has spoken to someone else. But you can count on this: God will always make Himself perfectly clear to His children. None of us will be able to stand before Him and say, “Sorry, Lord, I just never got the message.” God has a way of making sure we know what He really wants.
The real issue is whether or not you will obey and do whatever it is God is asking of you. This requires faith, especially when the Lord is telling you to do something that doesn’t make sense. This is the choice Moses was faced with when God spoke to him and asked him to lead.
Sometimes God uses people who are “natural born leaders.” I think you know the type of person I’m talking about: the guy or girl who was always class president, captain of the sports team, or voted “most likely to succeed.” There are some people whose natural drive and charisma makes them natural candidates for leadership.
But Moses wasn’t one of those people, and that’s why I appreciate this story so much–he’s someone I can relate to. It’s another case of God choosing a seemingly unlikely character to do amazing things.
Let’s think about Moses’ life at the time of the burning bush. Years earlier he was moved by the oppression of his people and murdered an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew slave. He fled the country once he realized there were witnesses to this impulsive, violent act. He married and settled down in the land of Midian, giving his first son a name that sounded like “sojourner.” He lived in exile, tending his father-in-law’s sheep for forty years. He was content with this anonymous, low profile life, and he had no reason to expect things would change in his old age.
God had something else in mind. He had not forgotten the plight of His people, and He was choosing to act in His perfect time. He would use a human agent to accomplish His will, and Moses was his choice.
Moses recognized the voice of the Lord, but he was not enthusiastic about this assignment. We could use several adjectives to describe his excuses, but they could all be summarized this way: Moses felt completely inadequate to do what God was asking. How could an old, washed-up shepherd liberate an entire nation from the world’s most powerful empire?
God’s answers to Moses’ objection could be summarized in Exodus 3:14:
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
The Lord identified Himself and promised to be with Moses: His presence and power would overcome any of Moses’ shortcomings. That’s a good word for you and me—God will walk beside us every step of the way when we obey!
This promise of God’s presence is reason enough to trust and obey Him. But let’s dig a little deeper into the background of Moses. He was miraculously rescued from genocide by one of the Pharaoh’s own daughters. He would learn the language and culture of the Egyptians, presumably trained alongside royalty. Even his exile had divine purpose: Jethro, his father-in-law, was a priest of Midian. Surely he was a spiritual mentor, teaching Moses about the ways of God. And forty years as a shepherd was probably good training for patiently leading the hardheaded Israelites. Perhaps Moses wasn’t such an unlikely leader, after all. He felt afraid and inadequate, but God had sovereignly molded him into the perfect candidate for leadership!
Let’s look at how the the life and ministry of Moses are summarized in the Scriptures:
And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
I find great encouragement in knowing God did this with someone who didn’t even want the job!
Here’s the main point of this post (and the sermon I preached):
God doesn’t make mistakes, so we shouldn’t make excuses.
Can God use you? The answer is YES!
You may feel completely inadequate for the task God is asking you to do. Obey Him anyway—God will be with you and use you in ways you never would have imagined.
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