Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” Exodus 1:22
Whenever I picture Moses, Charlton Heston comes to mind. For those of you too young to know that reference, Mr. Heston personified Moses in the blockbuster 1956 movie The 10 Commandments. He was sweaty and swarthy and muscular. He was bold and without fear. Some of his final scenes show him standing fiercely on top of a mountain, wind blowing his impressive white beard and long gorgeous hair as he calls on the name of God. A hero. A rescuer. A man not to be trifled with because God was with him. As usual, the big screen skips over a few of the finer points of history for the sake of the storyline. Like the fact that Moses, even though God Himself had been his rescuer many times, really didn’t want the job of Israel’s savior. Of being the leader of the new beginning for an entire people.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11
That interaction alone might lead the reader to think Moses well, he’s just being humble. But by my count Moses tries to turn God to someone much more suited, much more capable than him eight times! I can’t! What if! I’m not! Why should I? Sound familiar to anyone out there?
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Exodus 4:1
My BSGs (Bible Study Girls) and I have embarked on a new study by Shirley Giles Davis called, God. Gifts. You. In our first week we were asked: “Where are you hearing God, but your excuse for delaying sounds a lot like “Lord, I’m afraid.”?” Moses afraid? Not that guy. God saved him from death as a baby. God placed him in the care of royalty. God gave him incredible opportunities for gaining knowledge and physical strength. He saved him from capture. There’s no way Moses was afraid of yet another challenging new beginning, right?
Eight times. Standing in front of bush that was talking to him even! I don’t know about you but if I told my husband when he walked in the door from work that one of my bushes in the yard was on fire and speaking to me about going to the governor’s office demanding, “let my people go!” he’d be very, very concerned. In fact, this was a point of discussion with my BSGs. Not burning bushes mind you but whether or not God still speaks audibly to us. And if he does, do people think we are crazy? It’s an unfortunate state we are in that some pastors and biblical teachers try to assure us that God doesn’t speak out loud to us anymore. We must discern His word in other ways. And while I agree we need to use God’s character, gleaned from His written Word to verify the voice we hear I completely disagree that we no longer hear His audible voice. I know. I’ve heard Him. Some of my BSGs have heard Him. To me the real question is now that you’ve heard Him, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to accept the challenge of this new beginning or find another excuse?
Moses, although a pretty amazing and instrumental piece of God’s plan, stumbled even with God’s past provisions clearly given to him and the promise of God’s presence and help spoken to him. Moses, sometimes called the “Lesser Jesus,” is so often seen in parallel with the Messiah. Their birth stories are almost identical with a king demanding their death. Moses was to rescue people from slavery. Jesus from the slavery of sin. Moses led the Israelites through the parted waters toward the promised land. Jesus is our living water giving us the promised land. Moses was tested. Jesus was tested. So, where’s the problem with his hesitation?
But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 4:13
If you remember from Noah or even Abraham when called they went. And in Isaiah 6:8 Isaiah raises his hand proudly and says, “me Lord, send me!” It’s hard for a lot of people, I believe to relate to those guys. We regular folks sometimes are more like Moses. We list our reasons God’s plan won’t work. We aren’t smart enough, strong enough, likeable enough, talented enough. But like with Adam, if God wants us in His service He won’t let go. He wants us to be part of a new beginning. And so, he nudges us to the right people and places. He puts other saints in front of us to help open doors. For Moses? He said, “Fine, I’ll give you Aaron to use as your spokesperson.”
But here’s the thing. Even though Moses is the one remembered and exalted, it was Aaron that got to wear the priestly, holy robes. It was Aaron that was allowed into the most holy place. Think if Moses had responded like Isaiah – “Me! Me! I can do it Lord because you have rescued me so many times!” Moses would’ve been allowed into the whole glory of God, the first priest of Israel. True, his relationship with God was pretty amazing. But God clearly wanted even more for him.
His new beginning, as Moses led the Israelites toward the promised land, would require him to call on the Lord for strength and rescue many times. I find it interesting that Moses had to listen to all the people constantly complaining to him about why he took them down this path. Do you think he occasionally thought, “That sounds a lot like I was with God.”?
Friend, whether it’s a nudging or a clear directive from God I want to urge you to step up in faith and raise your hand. To use all your resources (prayer, scripture, pastors, teachers) plus God’s past intervention in your life to discern what He is asking of you. In your new beginning when you step out in faith you can then say “I overcame my fears and allowed God to take my weakness and turn it into strength.” This blog and podcast was my big step. Let Him work a New Beginning in you and He will let His glory shine brightly through you!