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My Moses Moments

Exodus 4

10But Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 11Then the LORD said to him, “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.” 13But he said, “O my Lord, please send someone else.” 14Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “What of your brother Aaron, the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad. 15You 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 what you shall do. 16He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him. 17Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.”

Man, do I get Moses in this moment. I look around me and I see my brilliant writers, courageous activists, great leaders, and deep thinkers. I then look in the mirror and see someone who manages to get his pants on in the morning… most days. I feel inadequate. I feel unskilled. I feel unprepared. I feel untalented. I feel like I don’t measure up.

I don’t think Moses was afraid of Pharaoh. I think he was afraid of failure. I think he felt he wasn’t big enough for the task that God was giving him. I think he felt like there had to be someone more qualified and that if he went, he would be risking the fate of his people and possibly bringing even more of Egypt’s wrath upon them. I so get you, Moses!

God’s first rebuttal to Moses is to say to him “you do realize where the ability to speak comes from, right? The One who is giving you the task! Don’t you think if the One who gave you the ability to speak in the first place wants you to speak, that we’ll figure out how to make that happen?” (I’m paraphrasing). So often we forget our God-given abilities, our natural talents, and the Giver of those talents. Those of us people of faith are far too often reliant on empirical data, logic, and facts, instead of putting faith in the One who enables us to think. We forget that our talents are transferrable to new situations and circumstances. We forget that we are enough.

God actually gets mad at Moses! Think about that… what pisses God off? When we deny the gifts that God has given to us. When we discount ourselves, it’s like throwing a gift back in the giver’s face. We insult God when we say “we can’t”. Ouch. I confess that too often I say to God, “I can’t. Send someone else. I’m not good enough”. God, forgive me for throwing my insecurity in Your face.

About derricklweston

Father of two. I co-host God Complex Radio, a show highlighting progressive voices in the faith community. (godcomplexradio.com) I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. I like lots of stuff. Sometimes I write about that stuff.


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