The God Who Dialogues
Lord, You are the God who dialogues with us; You’re the creator of humankind, the Lord of history; You have called me to follow Christ.
Read Exodus 4:1-17
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“What is it that makes (certain people) leaders? First, leaders take the lead, initiating ideas and plans. Second, leaders move people to follow them by showing them consideration” (Leighton Ford).
Moses stands out in history; he is often described as the capable and courageous leader who brought the Israelites out of slavery. Our readings yesterday and today, however, suggest a deliberate purpose to show Moses’ hesitancy and inadequacies! They emphasize that it is the Lord who is going to deliver, defeating Pharaoh, with Moses’ role that of spokesperson, both to the Israelites and to Pharaoh—and even there he needed help. Similar stories, with much variation, are repeated throughout the history of God’s people right through to today. The detailed dialogue can help us reflect on our tendency to focus on human resources, whether the abilities of others whom God has called or our own inabilities and excuses when we sense God calling us! The focusing drumbeat here is that the God who calls also enables.
After years of a stable life, Moses at first is hesitant (3:11). Does he understand, as Walter Brueggemann says, “immediately and intuitively that this summons from the God of promise and liberation is a threat to his own life”? God’s answer is to promise his presence (3:12), expanding with all-embracing statements of what “I” will do (3:15-22). Despite promises, Moses is afraid of rejection (1), to which God graciously answers with immediate signs, demonstrating his power (3-9). At Moses’ claim of unsuitability (10) comes the reminder that it is the Creator who is calling and who enables (11,12). Moses is still not convinced, so Aaron is introduced (13,14). What an amazing cameo of God’s call! Although the language shows increasing impatience, even anger, he does not compel or punish Moses. Rather the enabling presence of God who understands our strengths and weaknesses is seen as he meets Moses where he is by involving someone else, not instead of, but alongside. Moses is still to be the spokesperson (15,16).
Talk to God about your experience of his call at different times in your life and his enabling in your weakness. Thank him for that.
Lord, help me frame my day around obedience to You. Keep my thoughts centered on You and replace my weakness with Your strength.
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