In today’s passage, Moses continues to resist God’s call for him to go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He contends that he is not eloquent and is slow of speech. God, in turn, explains that He will help him and teach him what to say. Moses is not convinced.
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.” 13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
When the world chooses leaders, we often go for the most eloquent, the most outspoken, one who can command a room, typically the extroverts out there. We usually choose someone who seems to have it all together, at least on the surface. This is not necessarily the case when we read about God’s chosen leaders in the Bible. God seems to call the unlikeliest of people to accomplish His plans.
Abraham was advanced in years when God uprooted him and his household to go to an unfamiliar land. David was almost overlooked as the youngest of eight brothers when Samuel came to anoint the new king-to-be. Joseph was despised by his brothers and sold into slavery. Then we have Moses. By his own admission, we learn that Moses is not the most eloquent, and is slow of speech and tongue, not necessarily the hallmarks of leadership as we know it. And yet God chose him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Moses, however, resisted God’s call and asked Him to send someone else. I can relate to Moses’ reluctance. I remember many a time when God called me out of my comfort zone to be part of His plans, but my fears and sense of inadequacy would often win over. But in those times that I did step out in faith, I was able to experience God’s grace and assuring presence with me in ways that I would never have known had I relied on my own skills and strength or rejected His invitation. We learn in verse 12 that when God calls, He also equips. He provides what’s needed to fulfill His plans. We just have to trust and obey.
God’s standards are different from the world’s standards. We learn in 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 that God chooses the foolish, weak, lowly and despised things of this world to shame those that are exalted by the world. Why is that? It says in 1 Cor 1:29, “so that no one can boast before him.” I am reminded of something Elisabeth Elliot shared in one of her talks. She said that our weaknesses are receptacles for God’s power. This quote points us to 2 Cor 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Lord, when you invite us to be instruments of your will, please give us the courage to say yes, not because we are confident in our capabilities but because we are confident in your power and trust that you’ll provide all that is needed to accomplish what you ask of us. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.