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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Uncertainty of Life and the Guarantee of Heaven

18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go. Exodus 3:18-20

The Lord had good news, bad news, and more good news for Moses. The people would listen to him, but the king? Not so much. Moses was already insecure without this foreknowledge of what would happen. He knew that the king of Egypt could have his head if he had wanted it, but Moses was going to demand that his people be free to take a three-day sabbatical, as it were.

This is as close to predicting the future as anything possible. Moses couln’t mess it up. It was the way it was going to be.

Even as Moses knew what would happen, he still had to go through it all, the doubts, the what-ifs, the chastisement from the king of Egypt. In other words, he still had to go through the motions because even though Moses knew what would happen, the Pharaoh wasn’t aware of it yet.

It would be he same way if God had told us our immediate future. We’d know it, but we’d still have to live it.

So, how does this relate to us?

Well, oversimplifying it, revelation back then was necessary because they didn’t have Scripture. They had to be led every step of the way.

We do have Scripture, and according to it, our future is with God in heaven.

Between now and then, though, we’ve got a lot of living to do. We don’t know what our lot will be tomorrow or the next day, whether it’ll end in tears or pure joy, sorrow or rejoicing. We do know that:

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.

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