HERE I AM: DON’T SEND ME!
Loving Lord, I pray for an eager mind to learn, a dedicated will to serve, and a surrendered heart to love.
Read EXODUS 4:1–17
Signs for Moses
4 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
6 Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.
7 “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
8 Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”
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.”
14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”
- Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew word for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
As you prepare to engage with God’s Word, ask the Holy Spirit to help you make the shift from a ‘spectator’ mindset to an ‘active participant’ mode.
We discover a recurring pattern in God’s call: calling by name; the response, ‘Here I am’; a command to ‘go’ and fulfill some mission. God calls, ‘Abraham!’; Abraham responds, ‘Here I am’; and he is commanded ‘go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him [Isaac] there as a burnt offering’.1 The summons ‘Jacob! Jacob!’ and the ensuing ‘Here I am’ are followed by the order ‘go down to Egypt’.2 Here, when God calls ‘Moses! Moses!’ he responds ‘Here I am’ and is commissioned: ‘So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt’.3 This conversation, however, which began with a promising ‘Here I am’ now continues with ‘send someone else’ (v 13)! What went wrong?
Moses exemplifies the typical reaction of those who have been ‘Once bitten, twice shy’. Forty years have passed since the Moses of chapter 2 saw an injustice, recklessly reacted – without pausing to consult God – and was so badly and painfully bitten that he was forced to flee for his life. The experience has shaken his arrogance, making him a humbler man; but it has also shattered his confidence, leaving him lacking confidence in himself (v 1).5 The 80-year-old Moses of chapter 4 is ultra-cautious, shying away from entering the fray even though, this time, he has God’s green light. Perhaps the taunting, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?’6 haunts him, causing him to agonize, ‘What if they do not believe me or listen to me …?’ (v 1).
An imperfect world can never offer the luxury of perfect information. God’s guidance seldom lights up the entire pathway but only assures ‘just enough light for the step I’m on’.7 Will you trust Jesus to be your light as you step out in obedience into areas of uncertainty?
Ask God to show you the next thing that He wants you to do today… tomorrow… this week…
Dear Father, sometimes I feel reluctant to step forward in faith in response to Your caII. I identify with Moses. Increase my faith and confidence in You.
1 Gen 22:1,2 2 Gen 46:2,3 3 Exod 3:4,10 4 Acts 7:23–30 5 See also Exod 3:11,13 6 Exod 2:14 7 Book title by Stormie Omartian
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