Week Two – Day 2 Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Read EXODUS 4:1-17 SOAP Exodus 4:10-13
- In what truth about God is Moses supposed to find his boldness?
TUESDAY EXODUS 4:1-17 1 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’”2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” 3 And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. 4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—5 “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 Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. 8 “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. 9 If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.” 10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. 17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”
O – Despite God’s reassurance that He was with Moses, Moses continues to give excuses as to why he shouldn’t be used. As if God’s answers and reassurance weren’t enough. After asking “who am I?” and “What if they ask Your name?”, Moses continues to question God and give excuses.
Third, “what if they don’t believe me, or listen to me and say that God didn’t really appear to you?” Despite God telling him that the leaders WOULD listen to him (see Exodus 3:18 – “the elders of Israel will listen to you…”), Moses doubted that they would. God had even stated that He would strike the Egyptians with wonders – with His mighty hand! (3:19) So – God gives Moses some signs (miracles, actually) that he could use as “object lessons.” His staff became a snake – and turned back into a staff SO THAT they would believe that God had appeared to him. (4:5) He also had Moses’ hand turn leprous – and then cleansed. AND – if they didn’t believe either of the two signs (staff and leprousy), water from the Nile would turn to blood when poured out on the ground. Three signs!!
Fourth, if the signs weren’t enough, Moses asks, “Oh Lord, I’m not eloquent and slow of speech and tongue.” In other words – “I just can’t TELL them. My words don’t come out right. This has ALWAYS been the case – even since YOU spoke to me!” Even though God promised to be with him, being sent by “I AM”, and given signs, Moses is STILL reluctant! God reminds Moses – “Who do you think gave you speech to begin with?? Isn’t it I? NOW GO – I will help you!”
Fifth, oh Moses….. Moses says to God – “O LORD, please send someone else!” Did he run out of excuses? Did he really think that God, after all His promises and reassurances and miracles – wouldn’t deliver? So – God brings Aaron on the scene to go with Moses. He didn’t replace Moses – but sent someone else to go with Moses. But, I also noted that God’s anger “burned against Moses.” He still used Moses, but the assignment wasn’t the same. It’s not that God DIDN”T use Moses – but He gave the assignment differently. Aaron went as Moses support and voice. But – what if Aaron wasn’t there??
A – What are the take-aways from today’s reading??
We are not responsible for others to believe the message – we are responsible to DELIVER it! God is responsible for the results!
God will give us the words to say. And, today, we have the blessing of the Holy Spirit indwelling us – to give us power! “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
God WILL USE someone else if we refuse to go, or speak. What would we miss out on? God’s blessing? God’s empowerment? What would SOMEONE ELSE miss out on? God’s blessing? God’s promise of salvation? God’s presence? OH, if I would only realize the effects of my saying “no” to God – or putting off what He asks me to do – today!
How many times do I give excuses to God – saying I’ll do it later, or have someone else do it, or I JUST CAN”T do it?? And how many times does God have to give me “signs” – or someone else – or even hold back His anger with my excuses?? Oh, Karen, just DO what God asks you to do!
P – Oh, Father God, forgive me for the times that I give you excuses. How can I, as Your creation and daughter – refuse Your promptings? How can I put off Your missions? How can I negate Your power within me? Forgive me. And today, Father, let me walk in the power of Your love, in the power of Your Holy Spirit – and respond readily to Your voice. Give me Your strength. Give me Your voice. May I not say, “God, use someone else” but “Here I am, use me.” And, as the hymn writer said, “O use me, Lord, use even me, just as you will, and when, and where, until your blessed face I see, your rest, your joy, your glory share.” Amen
Lord Speak To Me that I May Speak – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvYSoGP7pwM
1 Lord, speak to me that I may speak
in living echoes of your tone.
As you have sought, so let me seek
your erring children, lost and lone.
2 O lead me, Lord, that I may lead
the wandering and the wavering feet.
O feed me, Lord, that I may feed
your hungering ones with manna sweet.
3 O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
the precious truths which you impart.
And wing my words that they may reach
the hidden depths of many a heart.
4 O fill me with your fullness, Lord,
until my very heart o’erflow
in kindling thought and glowing word,
your love to tell, your praise to show.
5 O use me, Lord, use even me,
just as you will, and when, and where
until your blessed face I see,
your rest, your joy, your glory share.