The story of Moses is interesting. He was born during a time where an order was given for every male child to be killed. This was all part of Pharaoh’s plan to control the Israelites due to fear that they may betray Egypt by joining forces with their enemies and wage war on the land (Exodus 1:8-22).
A Levite woman, the mother of Moses, saw that Moses was beautiful and weaved a basket for him and hid him. As the basket floated down the Nile, the daughter of Pharaoh had compassion towards him and decided to look after him (Exodus 2:1-10).
As Moses grew up, he later saw the oppression of his people and killed a taskmaster. After finding out from his fellow Hebrew brothers that they were aware of his previous actions, Moses fled from Pharaoh. (Exodus 2:11-15).
Fast forward 40 years later, the Lord encounters him in a burning bush and explains to him that He wants Moses to deliver His people for He has seen their suffering (Exodus 3:7-10)
After a few powerful signs like throwing a staff to the ground and the staff became a snake and later putting his hand in his cloak and it was leprous. You would think that after God revealed Himself in mighty ways, Moses would be eager to go ahead. This wasn’t the case for Moses.
Here are three things that I want to encourage you with when God called Moses.
1. God knows you
But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” – Exodus 4:10
Like all of us, unintentionally, we see only our weaknesses and not God. For Moses, he was slow of speech. God’s response wasn’t “You’re right Moses, I can see we have a problem here”. Instead He reminds Moses of who He is.
Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” – Exodus 4:11-12
God knew that Moses was slow of speech and yet, He asked Moses to be his mouthpiece and to lead God’s people out of Egypt. Moses’ slowness of speech didn’t catch God off guard. Neither does your weaknesses or insecurities surprise Him.
God knows our weaknesses and yet He still chooses us not because we are perfect or worthy but to glorify Himself in us. God knew that we were sinners and He still sent Jesus to die on the cross for us, even if some may still choose to reject him. You can rest assured that God knows.
Moses’ concerns were genuine, he didn’t feel qualified and didn’t understand why God would give him this assignment. God’s response was also genuine. He didn’t disregard how Moses felt but He also wanted Moses to know who it is that is with him.
He asked Moses the question, “Who has made man’s mouth?” The obvious answer being God, the Creator of heaven and earth. And maybe, we too need to remind ourselves of who we’re serving.
2. God is with you
…Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” – Exodus 4:12
God encourages Moses that He will be with him. He will give him the grace to speak the words and teach him what words to say. Moses wasn’t doing this alone without God and neither should we.
If we could do the things God asked of us by ourselves, then we wouldn’t need God. The same could be said about salvation. If we could save ourselves, then Jesus wouldn’t have needed to die for us on the cross.
All throughout the bible, God desires us to depend on Him and not be self-sufficient. When God commissioned Gideon, he had an excuse too, he came from the weakest clan and he was the least of his family (Judges 6:16) but the Lord answered him,
And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” (Judges 6:16).
God asked him to narrow down his men from 22,000, later 10,000 until he was left with 300 men. It didn’t make sense to Gideon especially since he was going into battle with two other armies. But God did this so that He would get the glory and not man, for if the latter should take place then it would have led to pride.
David is another example, while men relied on their experiences in battle and their armour – David collected five smooth pebbles and a sling shot. Before he slew Goliath, these were his words,
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” – 1 Samuel 17:45-47
This story was more than just David slaying Goliath but for all of Israel to see that they serve a Living God.
There are other stories in the Old Testament where God reminded His people that He is with them.
Even in the New Testament, Jesus encourages his disciples that when he leaves, the Holy Spirit will come (John 14:26). He will teach them and also help them to testify as witnesses of Christ (Acts 1:8).
The last part of the Great Commission, Jesus encourages his disciples that he will be with them until the very end (Matthew 28:20). And just like them, we also need to be reminded He is with us.
3. It’s about Him
It’s easy to read the stories about ordinary men and women and identify with their weaknesses (and sometimes disobedience, if we can be honest with ourselves) because we’re human. But we shouldn’t forget who is at the center of it all.
In Hebrews 11, it talks about what faith is and gives multiple accounts of men and women who put their faith in a faithful God through obedience. They did these great exploits not because they were extraordinary but because they served an extraordinary God.
Every story in the bible points to Him and as we read it, we learn more about who God is. There is a greater narrative and it doesn’t start with us. We are only part of it by God’s grace.
Moses saw his flaws and his capabilities (or lack thereof) but God was more concerned about something that was bigger than Moses.
God was concerned about His people who were in bondage for 400 years. He heard their cry as they groaned in slavery and saw the oppression that they experienced under the Egyptians. He remembered the covenant He made with Abraham and wanted them to inherit the promise. He desired for them to worship Him, they would be His people and He shall be their God.
Whatever God is asking of you whether small or big. It really isn’t about us. In the midst of uncertainty, it may feel like it is because we can be led by our feelings more than we are led by His Holy Spirit. Sometimes we look to ourselves more than we look to Him. We don’t mean to but it does happen.
Paul the Apostle, was a slave for Christ, had every reason to be confident in his flesh but he counted it all as loss. He never boasted in himself but boasted in Christ alone.
My encouragement to you reading this post is this, whenever you’re tempted to trust in yourself – put your trust in God. He knows your weaknesses, He is faithful in every season, He keeps His word and He will always be with you.