Word of Encouragement (06/08/2022)

Pastor James
June 8, 2022

“Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:10-11).

We can understand Moses’ response to God’s call to go back to Pharaoh and deliver the people of Israel out of the Egyptian bondage. He knew the difficulty of the task better than anyone. Having grown up in Pharaoh’s household as a prince, he knew the mighty power of the Egyptian empire. Even though it had been already forty years since he left Egypt as a fugitive, he remembered well the magnificence and opulence of Pharaoh’s palace. He also knew the helplessness of the people of Israel. They were many in number, but they were slaves, who were oppressed and exploited severely. In their utter helplessness, all they could do was groan in pain and cry out to God for rescue. So desperate was their cry that it reached up to God (Ex. 2:23).

But it was not just the enormity of the task. How about Moses himself? He was once a young prince in Egypt. Now, he was just an old man, shepherding his father-in-law’s flock in the wilderness, far away from all the glitz and grandeur of the Egyptian palace. He once tried to help the Israelites, his people, as a prince in Egypt, but he failed miserably. His own people rejected him, saying, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us” (Ex. 2:14)? If he couldn’t help them when he was a young prince, how could he help them now as an old shepherd, with no army of his own, with no support from his people? Can we blame him for responding to God the way he did? “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Have you ever prayed that kind of prayer to God? Maybe we do it more often than we would like. We sense that God is asking us to do something very difficult—so difficult that it seems impossible to us. It may be forgiving someone that has hurt us so deeply, and you are still smarting from the pain. It may be overcoming habitual sin. It may be making a substantial sacrifice in finance or time or comfort. We don’t know how we can ever do something like that. Sometimes it feels like it’s more painful than dying. Painfully aware of our weakness and inadequacy, we plop down in helplessness and lament, “I can’t do this!”

How God responds to this prayer is instructive. He doesn’t tell him to think more positively and have a better view of himself. He doesn’t try to boost his self-image. God doesn’t deny anything that Moses says about himself. He simply says, “But I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12)!

Come to think of it, this is the perfect answer for us, isn’t it? What more do we need than the assurance that God will be with us? What does it matter how weak we are, how helpless we feel, if the almighty God should be with us to guide us and strengthen us to accomplish our mission? Our weakness, then, cannot be an excuse. How difficult a task is no excuse. Our repeated failure in the past is no excuse. “We rest on thee, our Shield and our Defender! / We go not forth alone against the foe; / strong in thy strength, safe in they keeping tender, / we rest on thee, and in thy name we go” (“We Rest on Thee”). Here, we are not talking about accomplishing our personal ambitions; we are talking about what God calls us to do.

As we begin this day, let us remember that God will be with us as we do His bidding. When He is with us, we have nothing to fear. Let us take His promise to be with us and live boldly in obedience to Him. He will never leave us or abandon us because Christ removed our guilt from us through His atoning sacrifice—the only reason that God would depart from us.