God is the very epitome of a patient and loving father in the beginning of this scenario. Moses is feeling very insecure and inept for the task God has called him to do. I personally can really relate to Moses’ fear and apprehension when it comes to public speaking. God doesn’t respond with anger or derision in this moment with something along the lines of “Don’t be ridiculous Moses! You are speaking to the God of the universe here. I’ve got you covered.” Instead, He very patiently answers Moses’ questions and actually gives him a step-by-step game plan of how to carry out his mission.
Even with this carefully thought out plan so carefully and lovingly delivered to him, Moses is still overcome by his own anxiety and insecurity.
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.”
Moses still doesn’t seem to get the point God is making. Even after He assures him that He will be with him to help him speak and will teach him what to say, Moses has the audacity to tell the God of the universe no! 13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” The audacity! But, wait?!? Have I been like Moses in my life more than I care to admit? Do we let our own fears and insecurities keep us from carrying out our God-given missions? Do they overshadow our confidence in God and His abilities? Are we ultimately saying that we don’t believe that God is up to the task?
Disobedience is dangerous! We read in verses 24-16: 24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)
Moses knew the requirements for circumcision and he also knew that the God of the universe was calling him to complete a task and he had been disobedient in both regards. Genesis 17:12: “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.”
I am not sure if this scene was in any way a reference to Jesus being a bridegroom of blood to us, but it certainly came to mind for me. What a gift that Jesus’ blood covers our sins and we are given a chance at new hope!
Getting back to Moses’ insecurity and lack of belief that he could carry out what God called him to do. While reading this chapter, I called to mind Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 concerning the thorn of his flesh,
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
What a comforting reminder that we can actually boast in our weaknesses because Christ’s power is actually made perfect in our weakness. We don’t have to have it all together, God meets us right where we are and equips us as He sees fit in order for us to carry out his missions. Trust Him!
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Have you ever felt led to do something for God but shrinked back because you were afraid you were not good enough for the task? What would God tell you?
- What are some ways that we can use our weaknesses to glorify God and honor Christ? What strengths will be provided?
- How did Zipporah and Aaron each add to or compliment Moses’ ministry? How have you been a help to the spiritual life and work of another?
- What will you learn from Moses’ example that you can put into action this week to help ensure that you will participate fully in God’s plans for you? What excuses will you overcome? What does God want to teach you what to say? Who may God be calling to be on your team in ministry?
Tomorrow we will skip ahead to Exodus 12