Word of Encouragement (06/09/2022)
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Ex. 3:13)
Was this an earnest question? We cannot help but wonder whether this was just another excuse. There is no denying that it was a legitimate question. But what was the likelihood of the Israelites asking this question about the name of God? When Moses did go back to Egypt, the people did not ask this question. Even so, it could be that Moses was trying to anticipate the people’s response. After all, he was rejected by them forty years ago. There is nothing wrong—in fact, it is commendable—to ask questions because you want to know what the mission is and desire to do it right. But we see that this was just an excuse on Moses’ part. Moses would say at the end of this long interchange with God, after God addressed all his concerns and questions, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else” (Ex. 4:13).
God, who sees the smallest movements of our hearts, must have known this. Yet, see how patiently God deals with Moses! He knows what He will do through Moses and all that Moses will accomplish. He knows how the experience will shape Moses’ character and grow faith. He knows how good and wonderful this whole process will be for Moses, how Moses himself will come to be so thankful that he was called by God to do this work. He knows how utterly needless Moses’ worries and fears are.
Yet, God seems to understand, really understand, what Moses is going through at this moment because he doesn’t see what God sees. So, with patience and gentleness, He addresses Moses’ concerns and questions one by one. Instead of expecting Moses to just know what he is supposed to do and getting frustrated because he doesn’t, God equips him for his job by instructing him step by step. Even though he is eighty years old by this time, what he is being tasked with is new to him; he needs guidance and God knows that. How wonderful our God is!
What a needed example He is for our interaction with young and inexperienced people! We make the folly of expecting the younger generation to know what we know, think like we do, and do what we are able to do after so many years of trial and error and experience. We expect them to know what to do and how to do it and, when they fall short of our expectations, we get frustrated. May the Lord give us the patience and gentleness of Christ to encouragers and trainers of the new generation, not just mere critics and faultfinders!
And knowing how gentle and patient God is, let us not be afraid to ask earnest questions when we pray. We should not ask to know His secret will, which is only His to know; it will be shown to us in due time by the unfolding of time. But we should know that we can bring our confusion and worries and fears to God. He may not answer us right away in an audible voice as He did with Moses. But that is not the only way He makes His will known. God may deepen our understanding of His Word to help us know His will. God may use our fellow saints and their wisdom. Do not shrink from praying in unbelief. Pray and see what the Lord will do!