Saturday, May 1, 2010

A brief study of Moses

Our focus on Moses is found in Exodus 3 and 4

Chosen by God for one of the most important jobs ever, Moses hesitated, resisted, even argued with God about it because he feared the reactions from those around him. Chosen by God for an important job, you and I can do the same. We can sometimes let the fear of rejection and failure and everything we lack blind us to the amazing opportunities God’s organized and placed before us. Just call us Moses.

God had a plan and He needed an earthling to carry it out. No problem, got just the guy in mind, He must have thought.

“Now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt,” God told Moses from the bush on fire [Exodus 3:10]

But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” [3:11]

Huh? God tells Moses the plan and he balks at it? There we are again.

But God answered, “I will be with you.” [3:12]

I love that answer. It’s the one God speaks to us and the one we should hear more loudly than all the doubts and fears bouncing around in our heads every time a new venture appears to challenge us.

But before we can even study the terrain of the holy ground on which we stand when God says build, we get ahead of Him, spying the jagged stones that would trip us up, measuring the chunks of mountain in our way. And we focus extra attention on the living, breathing complications of our lives that might resist or criticize our work, fearing rejection and leaving God’s plan to burn away.

Our building today will be different from what God designed for Moses, but the same opposition often remains – and so does God’s response to our fear. He sees the finished product long before we can even begin, no doubt quite satisfied with His choice even when we wonder if He’s made a mistake.

God sent Moses to “all the elders of Israel” to tell them about their deliverance and the miracles to come to free them from the Egyptians. God’s pointing the way on His blueprints, but Moses is still afraid, seeing rejection instead of divine direction.

But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” [4:1]

Now thinking through the obstacles we may face in our work isn’t a bad idea, but allowing those obstacles to override God’s plan is. His promise to be with Moses [and us] in our building provides the foundation we need to deal with those interruptions, delays and even rejections by those around us. When Moses went on and on about his reservations, God even gave him three signs to prove His plan was a good one [Exodus 4:2-9].

And yet, that strong fear of rejection continued to plague Moses despite God’s presence and reassurance.

But Moses pleased with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” [4:10]

God explained that He was in charge of who speaks, hears and sees. “Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” [4:12]

You’d think that would have been enough. If God is going to hold our hands and guide our tongues, what more do we need? While I wouldn’t turn down a notarized guarantee and signed pledges of agreement from all those around me when I embark on a new project, I’ve yet to have that happen with anything I’ve tried to build.

And I’ve certainly talked myself out of grand possibilities plenty of times because I could only see the plan not happening, imagining all rejection and no progress. Moses was a master at finding excuses to avoid the risk too.

But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”

Then the Lord became angry with Moses
[4:13-14], perhaps even disappointed that His choice couldn’t trust His judgment. And for a moment, perhaps the great plan was in jeopardy? I doubt it, but I do wonder how many of our lesser plans God has juggled because of our protests and fears.

Perhaps like Moses, we fail to recognize all we do have to help us with our part of God’s plans. We don’t take inventory of our resources and build on everything God’s taught us in the past. We’re slow to believe in what God sees and even slower to trust Him to provide what we can’t for the build.

But God continues to work around our shortcomings just as He did for Moses. And true to His forgiving and caring nature, He forgave Moses his doubts and pointed out the help He had provided.

“What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.”
[4:14-15] And so He did.

God never even entertains the idea that Moses will face so much rejection that he’ll fail to complete the job he’s been chosen for. He just continues to answer Moses’ resistance with support and promises of His presence. And Moses overcomes his fear with security and purpose.

God planned it, he built it.

God never doubts His choice of a weak and fearful earthling to build something mighty and everlasting. He just builds on the shaky human strength there so that Moses can climb up on his ladder with confidence and trust.

Surely Moses wanted to be what God could already see, but he was afraid. And that’s us too – wanting to be and grow and build and touch everything God already sees for us, but battling those same fears as old as the desert. Moses carried them to God and strapped on his toolbelt. That’s a pretty good plan for us too.

May God bless your building . . . .

o ~ o ~ o

How will you focus on God’s level of acceptance instead of everyone else’s? [hint: if you’re willing, He wants you.]

What resources have you failed to recognize to help you in your building? Factor them all in as you work on your plan for which God’s chosen you.

What are you arguing with God about right now, giving in to the fears instead of trusting in His control?

o ~ o ~ o

Download this study of Moses in pdf for easy printing for yourself or your group: Go here.

Thanks for being part of our tour . . . please post your comments and stories for all our readers. See you soon! God bless you.

No comments:

Post a Comment