A couple of weeks ago I shared from Exodus about distractions in life. The particular story from Exodus is ripe with lessons we can apply in our lives.
During Moses’ encounter with God, God gives him direction: free His people from Egypt.
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. 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. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
Exodus 3:7-11 (NIV)
It’s not surprising Moses responded the way he did. His last experience1 in Egypt wasn’t a very encouraging one; yet here Moses finds himself before God being charged to free an entire nation from slavery.
It should be noted that this passage represents the first official (read: on paper) time Moses received his “calling” from God. I’m convinced that despite his reaction in verse 11, Moses was not surprised to hear what God was speaking to him. Exodus 2:11-25 describes Moses’ intervention for his people, and gives a good indication that, whether or not he understood the full magnitude, Moses had a good sense of how his life would be spent.
Nevertheless, Moses was faced with a fairly hefty decision to make. God wasn’t asking for any small feat—He was asking Moses to change the direction of his life. In other words, Moses needed to make a career move that, if reviewed by a panel of his peers, would have no doubt resulted in God being voted off the island.
Sometimes the direction God wants us to take is clear. Sometimes it’s foggy. Sometimes it’s not even on the radar. Similarly, the direction or decision that God asks of us is sometimes easy and at other times very difficult. Moses had a choice: return (rather, retreat) to the life he had known for the last 40 years, or step into what he had felt his entire life.
It’s clear from the dialogue that transpired between Moses and God that Moses had some apprehension—likely from past failures when trying to do the very thing God was asking. It’s encouraging to see that God met Moses where he was and showed him just how much He (God) was willing to work through him (Moses). That’s what God wants us to see. That some choices are going to be tough. They’re going to be things we know we’re supposed to do, and may have in the past even tried and failed at, but God is not only there with us, He gives us strengths and abilities far beyond our own to get the job done well.
Exodus 2:11-25 ↩