These are not the days for someone else! These are our days. Let us share the gospel and live obediently before the King, which entails even standing for the truth in hard seasons. I think applications abound here. But let us encourage one another all the more as we see the Day approaching. Let us stand together for a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
No doubt it was a bizarre sight – the bush burning, but not consumed from the fire. And when God called Moses he said the same thing Abraham said to God in Genesis 22, “Here I am!” This is the same thing the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 6 when the voice of the Lord said, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Of course, Isaiah followed up his “Here I am!” with a “Send me!” This was not the case for Moses, but we’re pushing ahead of the story too quickly.
In this encounter with Moses, Yahweh recounted that He knew the affliction of His people and that He knew the time had come to rescue them from the land of Egypt, all to which I’m sure Moses would have, at least silently, said amen.
But then we realize that God doesn’t just have lofty indicatives to speak to Moses, but a specific imperative! The Lord tells Moses that He’s sending him to Pharaoh to accomplish His purposes (cf. Exodus 3:10). This doesn’t sit well with Moses, and he offers God four excuses.
The first is feigned humility — “Who am I that I should go?” (cf. Exodus 3:11). The second is that he doesn’t know God’s name (cf. Exodus 3:13). The third is that the people won’t listen to him (cf. Exodus 4:1). And finally, Moses says he is slow of speech and tongue (cf. Exodus 4:10).
In response to each excuse, Yahweh is full of compassionate mercies. True, His “anger was kindled” (cf. v.14) but instead of wiping Moses off the face of the planet, He shows Him grace, in essence “arguing” with him in order to convince him that he will in fact go and achieve this mission that God has for him and His people.
Please, Not Me
I said Moses gave four excuses and outlined those above. But there is a fifth reply Moses gives to God found in Exodus 4:13 — “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
Philip Ryken comments,
This fifth and final objection exposed what was underneath all of Moses’ excuses: a fundamental unwillingness to obey. The real issue was not that he lacked the stature to persuade Pharaoh, or that he was ignorant of God’s name, or that the Israelites would not believe him, or that he was a poor public speaker. God had answered all of those objections. The real issue was that Moses refused to trust and obey.
We could analyze all the reasons Moses had for not obeying the Lord, but at the end of the day, the fact is that he did not want to go. And it’s not that he didn’t want Israel to be rescued! He just wanted God to use someone else. Please send…someone else!
This reminds us of Esther who simultaneously did not want the Jews to be destroyed while also being hesitant to approach the king. But as we know both Esther and Moses did go with the resolve of “If I perish, I perish.” Both were people of faith and were convinced in the end that the reproach of Christ is greater than any worldly treasures or accolades.
Such a Time as This
And this brings us closer (but not quite!) to the point of today’s post. What a time to be alive right? I’m an 80s kid, so the first decade I really fully remember is the 90s.