Following on from the post I wrote last month based in Genesis about what it means to be ‘made in God’s image’, this months #digidisciple post is focusing on the calling of Moses, in Exodus 3. As I wrote then, God has a purpose for each one of us, and as we will see, so he also did for Moses. At first glance, Moses doesn’t have a convincing character profile. Called when he was a fair age and in hiding in the desert after many years of looking after the Father-in-laws sheep, living a quiet life. Thought to have a speech impediment, and had committed a murder some years earlier… that’s some list! Yet God still used him mightily in freeing the Jewish people from slavery and leading them through the desert albeit for 40 years.
I’m willing to vouch for Moses encounter with God at the burning bush to be one of the most well known bible stories. If you haven’t seen “The Prince of Egypt” animation I highly recommend it. It tells the story of Moses from his Egyptian brother ‘s point of view as well. It was incredibly popular at the time of its release and was at the forefront of technology of the time in the quality of the animation.
Are weaknesses good excuses?
When Moses and God met in the desert he was well aware of his weaknesses. When searching for articles to read on ‘Sermon Central’, I noticed some commentators, including John Hamby called these Moses ‘excuses’. While none of us should let excuses get in the way of serving God or fulfilling his purposes for our lives, I doubt many of us would be full of confidence in our personal ability to rescue an entire people group were we in the same situation! What were Moses objections?
These ranged from lack of confidence in himself; and worrying what if his people didn’t believe God was the one who sent him. These ranged from lack of confidence in himself; and worrying what if his people didn’t believe God was the one who sent him, and that there was a problem with his speech. Fortunately for Moses, God was more than enough for all of his weaknesses. Each time, God reassured Moses his unchangeable I AM would be with him. God didn’t expect Moses to know everything about how the rescue would be achieved, but simply to put his trust in God and let God do the rest His Way and in His Time. Put another way, “God’s Work, God’s way!”
Why the burning bush?
Undoubtedly. God needed a way of getting Moses attention, to show him that he still had work to do, but that God would give him the resources to complete it and be with him throughout, but God did this in a way that was completely transformative for Moses. Owen Bourgaize agrees:
God wanted to get him up out of the comfortable existence to do the work for which he was destined. Moses was never the same again. He had a new intimacy with God; he knew him as friend to friend. The experience gave him a new motivation; his past lifestyle was forgotten. He had a new power for his call to service.
Does this mean Moses completed his mission without fault or further indecision? On the contrary, God could use Moses because he was weak and in need of assistance.
As it was for Moses, so it is for us also. God uses all sorts of ways to shake our lives up if we get to comfortable. My dear Granny is fond of telling how her mother told her not to lean to heavily on “props” or God would take them away. What she meant was, relying on people or things more than our Father God. I have found this out too. All at the same time, a good friend is getting married, another is awaiting the imminent arrival of her first baby, and at least three friends have begun significant relationships in the last six months… at the same time as my Dad underwent a massive operation. Obviously, all are still there but just in a different way now. Who do I have left who is always there?! Jesus. That’s me well and truly out of my comfort zone and learning to rely on Jesus more and keep putting Him first! That and my energy levels have dipped significantly, so I am also learning how and what to prioritise. Even amongst all of that, God still has a purpose for me, in my writing, and my prayer and listening ministry. It may be different things God uses to shake you out of the comfortable place you are in, or to point you towards him purpose, but the principle is the same. So, if you are comfortable where you are in your life, beware, God may be about to shake you out of it!
- Bourgaize, Owen, (10/2000) ‘The Burning Bush – A Call from God’ from Sermon Central http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/the-burning-bush–a-call-from-god-owen-bourgaize-sermon-on-moses-59.asp?Page=1 date accessed 05/02/13
- Hamby, John (08/2001) ‘Excuses Instead of Service’ from Sermon Central http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/excuses-instead-of-service-john-hamby-sermon-on-ot-characters-38562.asp?Page=1 date accessed 07/02/13