"Please Send Someone Else!"
Exodus begins where Genesis left off. The Israelites are in Egypt. After prospering under Joseph, whom was well liked by Pharaoh, the Israelites begin to multiply. Joseph dies, and a new pharaoh is in town now. He is intimidated by the Israelites, forces them to work as slaves and informs the Egyptian midwives to kill the Israelite baby boys at birth. Moses survives and is raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. But God hasn’t called Moses to a plush palace life. He has called Moses to lead God’s people.
Exodus 3 continues the story:
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
God is speaking directly to Moses and telling Moses he will bring the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and into a lavish land. Whaaaat?! So how does Moses respond to this awesome calling? “God, I am honored that you chose me of all sinners to lead such a mighty task for you!” Wrong. Moses starts a Q&A session with God.
Question 1: 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
Answer 1: 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Question 2: 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
Answer 2: 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
Mic drop. God is basically saying, “All you have to do is mention my name and they’ll believe you.” Because God’s that powerful. God then gives Moses the game plan: Moses will hype up the Israelite elders to approach Pharaoh with him. Pharaoh won’t budge. Then God will perform crazy wonders so Pharaoh will release the Israelites, and the Egyptians will be favorably disposed to Israel and give them whatever they need for the exodus out of Egypt. Awesome! But wait. Moses still is unsure.
Question 3 (Exodus 4): 1Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
Answer 3 involves God making Moses’s staff turn into a snake, his hand to become leprous then restored again, and river water to turn into blood. Moses can use these as signs for the people to believe he is being sent by God. Seems like enough evidence, right? Nope, there’s more…
Question 4: 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.”
Answer 4: 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.”
At this point God has assured Moses that He would be with Moses; given Moses His name and game plan; provided Moses with miraculous abilities to win over the Israelites; and told Moses he would help him speak and teach him what to say. Out of excuses, the next line reveals Moses’s heart:
13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
The first time I read this, I gawked and thought, “Are you kidding, Moses?! Who are you to question God’s plan for you?” But now I feel it. Brian and I just started Streamsong Church last Sunday and I wrestled with that unspoken request too. Why us? I’m far from pastor’s wife material! I secretly curse inside when I stub my toe. Why now? We have a 3 year old and 1 year old! I barely have the energy to pour into my kids much less a church and community. But God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12.9). He has equipped us over these past years under amazing Riverside leadership. He has hand-picked a fantastic core team to join us on this unified adventure to share the Gospel with Doylestown.
Do you ever wonder why God has chosen you for a specific task? Join me in this prayer:
“God, may we not focus on our inadequacies but instead keep our eyes on your glorious power! You are capable of doing all things. Your desire is for everyone to know and love you. May we trust that your plan for us is better than our own. Please use us in powerful ways to share the Gospel with the nations. Amen.”