I thought I knew the story of Moses well, from baby in a basket, to avenging prince, to desert shepherd, to leader of God’s people on a very long, very circuitous wilderness trek.
He is perhaps best remembered as the powerful, faithful, longsuffering leader of the Israelites, who certainly required an abundance of patience. But as I read through the early chapters of Exodus this week, I noticed how often he wasn’t exactly stalwart and stoic.
In fact, when God first called Moses to the quest of leading the Israelites from a life of slavery in Egypt (from a burning-yet-living bush, no less), Moses rejected the idea completely.
Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? – Exodus 3:10,11
When God not only answered but encouraged him, Moses questioned God further, revealing a serious lack of faith. Not just once, but many times, he focused on his own weaknesses rather than on God’s strength.
And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. – Exodus 4:1
And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. – Exodus 4:10
Why is it that thou hast sent me? – Exodus 5:22b
And Moses said before the Lord, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me? – Exodus 6:30
You get the idea.
And yet…God still used Moses.
Jehovah recognized that someone completely lacking in self-confidence could do mighty deeds when injected with His power.
An inept speaker could state his case boldly to the leader of an empire.
A doubter could part the Red Sea.
A murderer could save millions.
How comforting to see, through Moses’ example, that God is patient, wise, and loving enough to handle our questions – and often provide answers in his good time.
Have you ever questioned God and received an answer? I’d love to hear from you.