The Reluctant Moses

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.”

Jethro said, “Go, and I wish you well.”

19 Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand. Exodus 4:18-20

Moses was fairly pessimistic about what he’d find in Egypt. Of course, the Lord knew who would still be around and who would have moved on.

Moses still hadn’t met up with Aaron yet, but he did carry the staff of God with him, so that in itself was a step in the right direction towards his confidence.

Recall, also, that Moses is writing this little detail into the Book of Exodus so it was important enough for him to mention here.

What I find interesting is that a free man would return to the land his people were being held captive, essentially walking into his own enslavement. That is not a small deal. It’s one thing to be enslaved after things go south where you’re working; it’s entirely different to experience it as a free man. On the other hand, he might have been given fair treatment since he grew up in one of the Pharaoh’s household.

So, reluctant to be the voice for God for his people, Moses started back to Egypt, knowing full well that he could be working alongside his compatriots making bricks.

Moses, I believe, was taking a step of faith going back to Egypt. He knew he would meet up with Aaron and the two of them would go into Egypt together. One foot in front of the other, he was uprooting his family and going back to Egypt.

Continue Reading

Of Shared Glory

14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.” Exodus 4:14-17

I don’t believe it was God’s desire for Moses to share this responsibility with Aaron. Aaron was probably an orator of some sort and confident of his speaking abilities. Perhaps he had been in front of royalty before and was fearless. Of course God can use someone like that, no question about it.

But He can and often does use those who are not gifted, not eloquent, or not fearless. That statement is so apparent to me since I’ve been writing these devotionals.

The reason he does this is simple. If I as a great public speaker delivered a grandiose speech, I could claim it was through preparation and experience. If someone else does the same thing, he could also claim those two qualities, but he might be more likely to give God glory because he was scared out of his wit to stand up there and speak. God calmed his fears at the right time. God helped him prepare. God worked in and through him.

It doesn’t mean a person becomes sloppy and fails to prepare. It just means that God is always willing to assist those who trust Him. In fact, using this same illustration, I would think it’s more difficult to give God the glory for a sermon or speech when you’re not relying on God for the strength and words.

But when a preacher or teacher is prepared and relies on the Holy Spirit before, during, and after preparing, then God gets the glory and the message is more powerful and meaningful.

It’s like that with everything we do.

Continue Reading

That Special Something

6 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.

7 “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.

8 Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 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.”

10 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.”

11 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? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 4:6-13

Moses gave three excuses why he shouldn’t be the one to do what the Lord asked. The Lord countered his excuses with with three signs, signs that would certainly get the Egyptians’ attention, especially the last – the Nile turning into blood. The Nile was extremely important to their very existence. Moses would have known that as well.

Instead, Moses was fearful and insecure. But God has ways of changing things around. He always does. There was a reason he had Moses doing this instead of someone else.

Similarly, there’s a reason that God has you doing something rather than someone else, even though you might think that person is better qualified and experienced to do it. Your skills, talents, passions, and gifts are what He wants to use. No one else has the same as you do.

Perhaps He’s laid something on your heart that is unique to you. No one would ever understand your passion for it, but you do. And God knows.

Draw close to God and He will draw close to you in this. Lay it at His feet to tell you what you should do with it.

Continue Reading

Moses and the Snake

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 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. 5 “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.” Exodus 4:1-5

Moses was a normal guy.

Normal guys run away from snakes when they see them, especially if they believe it to be poisonous. Interesting that Moses included this bit of information when he wrote it down later. I don’t think it’s a trivial matter at all because he was expressing an emotion we all experience: fear.

Even in verse one he was expressing a different kind of fear.

But God had laid his hand on Moses. He would go before him. He would protect him.

Getting back to the snake. When God told him to pick it up again, it probably sent shivers down his spine. Not only does he have to get close to it, but he has to pick it up!

All along, though, God was showing Moses that he could handle this and any other obstacle placed in Moses’ path.

You can almost hear the Lord telling Moses, “Just trust me, even a little, and we’ll get through this.”

What is God asking you to trust Him for? What obstacles are in your path? Are you, like Moses, riddled with fear and doubts?

“Just trust me, even a little, and we’ll get through this together.”

Continue Reading

Daily Faith

21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians. Exodus 3:21-22

So God finished laying out the next steps in the life of Israel, even to the point of saying he’ll plunder the Egyptians by handing over their gold and silver to the Hebrews. It’s a solid overarching plan of how this would all go down. I suspect it was quite overwhelming for Moses. He’s still talking with a burning bush! Not to mention that he’s talking to his creator. It would take me months to process that alone.

But all along, God said He’d be with Moses every step of the way. It’s clear to us now because we know the ending, but they didn’t have that luxury. He still had to have faith as he heard this, as he talked with his people, and as he went to Pharaoh. The faith we have is no different in our situations. Similar to Moses, we don’t know our final outcomes. We get glimpses of the ultimate destination but very little about what will happen along the way.

That’s where faith and reliance on a Sovereign God comes into play. So yes, we have an edge when we read Scripture about what the Biblical characters had to endure, but we also have to exercise our faith every day.

Continue Reading
Close Menu