Moses said to YHWH, “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.” YHWH 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, YHWH? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:10-11
Did you know that Moses was a reluctant hero? When the God of his fathers first called Moses to serve His grand purpose, the man was trying to think of every reason why it was a bad idea. He came back at God so many times that God actually became angry with Him (Exodus 4:14) – and God is “slow to anger” (Exodus 34:6)!
As God’s would-be spokesman, Moses was focusing on his own lack of abilities and strengths. He was thinking of all that might go wrong if he did as God commanded. He was afraid of this God who spoke to him, but he had the boldness to try to reason with Him. Of course, God’s reasoning far surpassed Moses’ reasoning, and each “but, Lord…” was met with a clear and solid response from God. (Did Moses really think he had thought of things that God had missed in His planning?) Notice in the passage quoted above that God made it clear to the shepherd who stood before Him that He was able to grant or take away powers and abilities. If Moses had trouble speaking (which was going to be a big part of his job!), then God would help and teach him.
Can you see yourself in this exchange, Disciple? Have you ever given your Master excuses in your reluctance to obey Him? Like Moses, have you focused more on your own weaknesses and frailties than on His competence, wisdom, and goodness? If so, listen intently to God’s answer: “I can handle the issue of ability and power. Now go; I will help you and teach you.” Wonderfully, helping and teaching are the very things Jesus promised the Holy Spirit (whom He called ‘the Helper’) would do for His disciples (John 14:26)!
Aren’t you grateful, Disciple, that the God who was so committed to the mission of liberating Israel is now wholeheartedly devoted to His mission to liberate sinful humanity? He will patiently and effectively teach and help those He calls, but they must be willing to go where He sends and do what He commands. Do not let your weaknesses or inabilities or perceived disadvantages get in your way as you move forward to obey Jesus. Didn’t He prove that He can make the weak strong and the unable able? He made the dead alive again, didn’t He? Bring your concerns to Him as you move on to join Him in His mission, but do so in the confidence that He will be ready and willing to help you and teach you in whatever ways you need in order to complete your part of it.
Trusting Him to help and teach us,