Insecurity, Inadequacy and Fear are three of the top 10 barriers that those of us called to serve the Lord allow to stand in the way of serving Him fully and whole heartedly. Some will read the verses in our study today and see an impertinent or obstinate Moses. But I think this is far deeper and more meaningful.
When we stand in the presence of God we will speak the truth. Scripture tells us that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I think what we see is Moses revealing his heart and soul layer by layer in the presence of a loving and patient God. Yesterday we discussed the first 2 barriers. I don’t know who I am and I don’t know who you are, God. God addressed those. Now we move deeper past the surface.
1. I am insecure. What if they don’t believe me? What if I lay myself out in front of them and they reject me? God answers this by making Moses more secure and teaching him about God’s plan. God shows him how to perform miraculous signs. He doesn’t just tell him these signs, He allows Moses to practice the signs and to experience there impact first hand. He teaches Moses what he is to do and enlightens him that they may not believe the first sign or the second sign and they may not listen to Moses, but they will believe the third.
2. I am inadequate. I am not eloquent. I am slow of speech. What if I don’t have the words to convince them? What if I don’t know what to say or how to say it? God patiently reminds him not of Moses power but of Gods. Who made it so men can speak? This is not a barrier, because it is not a barrier to God. God tells him again, “now, go” and reminds him that God will not only help him speak but actually teach him the very words to say.
3. I am afraid. No one likes to admit we are afraid, but we all experience fear and it can paralyze us. I believe Moses’ final request, that God send someone else, is an expression of his fear. And how does God address this? In two ways. First, if you are going to have fear in your life, let it be a reasonable fear of the Lord. God’s anger burned against Moses. The shift from petty fears to righteous fear that Moses must have experienced at that moment must have been palpable. But God did not use fear to be the motivation for Moses to obey. This is very important. God revealed Moses’ fear for what it was in comparison to the fear of God, but He didn’t leave Moses with something to move away from, He gave Moses something to look forward to. The conversation between God and Moses reveals that Moses and Aaron knew each other as brothers. Moses knew that Aaron could speak well. Moses had been away for 40 years, away from home and family, and God overcomes his fear with a promise of hope and love and reuniting. He tells Moses that Aaron is already on his way to meet him. (Don’t miss that. God didn’t yield to Moses’ fear, he had sent Aaron on his way before this conversation happened.)
God helps and is patient of us in exactly the same way. He overcomes our feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. He overcomes our fear with hope and love and reuniting. He has given us the promise of a promised land that makes the land of Canaan look like a wasteland. He has given us a promise of his presence that makes the pillar of fire look like a flashlight with weak batteries.
Like Moses, He has given us a sign and a promise: when our mission here on earth is done we shall return to a holy place to worship Him.
1. What if they don’t believe me or listen to me?
2. Pardon, I have never been eloquent… I am slow of speech and tongue.
3. Pardon, Please send someone else
v2-9 foresight into miraculous signs
v11-12. who gave human beings their mouths?… Now, go; I will help you speak and teach you what to say
14-17. The Lord’s anger burned against Moses – gave him helper, Aaron
I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to offend. I’m not the right person. I’m too sinful to be believed. I’m not holy enough. God has been patient with me, taught me, and has taken up residence in my heart.