Yesterday our speaker at church talked about the need to ask the Lord to “throw out” people into the harvest. He pointed out that what’s translated as “send out” in Matthew 9:38 has the idea of driving out or casting out. There’s a notion of force or compulsion behind the term. Our speaker shared how his own calling into ministry required some “subtle prompting” by the Lord . . . as in stomped on by a horse and, when that didn’t quite get the pump primed, a slip on the ice and a snap of the leg. As I read about Moses’ calling into ministry, it seems our speaker is in good company.
If you’re like me, hear the name Moses and you immediately think mighty deliverer. From standing on holy ground to standing before a hard-hearted Pharaoh. From standing before a nation as they walk away from slavery to standing before a great sea about to be parted. From standing on a mountain receiving God’s word, to standing before the promised land ready to say good-bye as his people were about to enter. You think great man. You think godly man. And you remember that “there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face” (Deut. 34:10).
But as I’m reading in Exodus this morning, I’m reminded how Moses, like our speaker, was at first a bit reluctant.
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.” Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made mans mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
(Exodus 4:10-13 ESV)
The calling was clear (Ex. 3:1-11). A burning bush has a way of getting someone’s attention. As Moses felt the warmth on his face and the ground heating up under his feet, he was all ears when God said, “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But God, responds Moses, can’t someone else pick up the plan You’ve set out for me?
And this is where I so connect with Moses this morning. His first response is “Who am I?” God, he says, I don’t think I have what it takes to go before Pharaoh. I’ve got some baggage with the leadership in Egypt. I might even still be on their “Most Wanted” list. Beyond that, I’m not sure I have what it takes when it comes to addressing those in powerful positions.
I can kind of get where Moses is coming from. Who am I?
But Moses asks the wrong question when he asks, “Who am I?”. It’s not about who am I, but all about who I AM is.
Israel’s deliverance wasn’t going to happen because Moses was eloquent of speech . . . or impressive in stature . . . or charismatic in nature. His call to the harvest wasn’t about who he was. It was all about who His God is and what His God had determined to do.
“I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.”
(Exodus 6:6-9 ESV)
God’s call is never separated from God’s presence. His plan for us always comes with His power. Whether it’s delivering a nation or just get up in the morning and doing life as He has permitted life to be, it’s never about who am I but always about who I AM is.
Good reminder yesterday morning. Great reminder this morning.
And so we keep on keepin’ on.
By His grace . . . for His glory.