Can’t or Won’t?
Living Lord, again I come before You seeking fellowship with You and Your gracious guidance in my life.
Read Exodus 4:1-17
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Moses made a serious attempt to wiggle out of God’s will (1-12). God answered all his excuses and Moses had to come clean. He simply didn’t want to do it (13)! God is not fooled by our excuses!
We are told that Moses was an extremely meek person (Num. 12:3). In this chapter (and chapter 3) we learn that humble people can be extremely stubborn. I run up and down the ladder of Moses’ excuses, climaxing with the blunt, “Send someone else!” Do examples spring to mind of disobedience in my own life masquerading as humility? Note Moses’ words in verse 10, “I am slow of speech and tongue” (the “I” is emphatic) and the emphasis in the Lord’s reply in verse 11, “Is it not I, the Lord?” Do I make my own defects a ball and chain, limiting what the Lord intends to do through me? If I am a reader with a sight or hearing impairment, does this verse propose the revolutionary idea of my suffering as a divine gift? How does this verse remind me that the way I am has not escaped the notice and design of God’s loving providence?
The signs and wonders are not just arbitrary magic acts; they are contextualized for people who live in Egypt, where the pharaoh’s headdress incorporated a cobra; where skin diseases were rife; where the Nile was the country’s life-giver; and where it seems that the pharaoh had an official called “The Mouth” so that he did not demean himself by speaking directly. I ponder too God’s angry patience in answering Moses’ stubborn self-rubbishing by providing his eloquent elder brother (how did he not get killed years before?) “…who will be glad when he sees you” (14). Who can sufficiently adore the unyielding love of the One who will not take our “No!” for an answer, but instead overwhelms our reluctances with his kindness? When God calls me to a task, how do I differentiate a credible “I can’t; please help me” from a disobedient “I won’t; ask someone else”?
When has God reassured you of his presence and power? What concerns do you have about doing God’s will or following his lead? How does Moses’ experience help you?
Lord, I am somebody because You made me, because You love me, because You died for me. For this grace, beyond my deserving and sometimes my desiring, I thank You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.