Word of Encouragement (06/23/2022)
These words show that Moses had no intention of going back to Egypt from the beginning when he said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt” (3:11)? He brought up many questions and concerns about God’s commission. Some of them could be viewed legitimate. But these words show that they were no more than excuses. It’s amazing how he could still refuse to go after all the reasons, assurances, and signs God had given him. Oh, the depth of the sinfulness of the fallen man!
We don’t know why Moses was so opposed to going. It could not have been a rational choice. God addressed every one of his concerns and questions. When he asked, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt...?” God said, “I will be with you.” When he asked what he should tell the Israelites what His name was, God told him and showed him how He would bring the Israelites of Egypt and give them the promised land. When he questioned how they could believe that he was sent by God, God showed him certain miracles. And when he said he couldn’t go because he was not a good speaker, God asked him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak” (Ex. 4:11-12). Not only that, He told him that He would send his brother, Aaron, to help him. Even after all this, Moses asked God to send someone else! His reason for not going could not have been rational but emotional.
Maybe Moses felt bitter that God was reaching out to him when he was old and gray. He had been exiled in the wilderness of Midian for the past forty years and, after being silent for all that time, God wanted to send him on this impossible mission? Maybe he also remembered all too well how the people of Israel rejected him when he tried to help them as a prince in Egypt. Why would he want to go back to them? They say that most of the people’s decisions are emotionally driven. Is this what was going on with Moses?
We should not think that emotions have nothing to do with reason. If Moses did not accept God’s “reasons” and explanations, it was because he accepted his reasons to be more valid. His calculations seemed more reliable to him than God’s assurances. His assessment seemed more accurate than God’s promises. To be “emotional” means holding on to one’s own reasons rather than more reliable reasons.
When Moses expressed his unwillingness to go without any reason, “Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses…” (Ex. 4:14). This shows how bad the sin of obstinance is. He will forgive us “up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22, NASB) if we humbly come and confess every time. But there is no hope for those who refuse to listen to God’s invitation and turn from his wicked ways. This was why God’s anger was kindled by Moses’ stubbornness. It also shows that God will not be patient forever. There will come a day when God will judge the world once and for all. And even though He will never punish us because we belong to Christ, He will discipline us, severely at times, if we refuse to submit to Him.
We see that, when God’s anger was kindled against Moses, it was not to punish him but to put him on the right path. Let us not wait till He must deal with us that way. God wants to lead us to repentance through His kindness (Rom. 2:4). What are your excuses for not doing the will of God? Has God not been patient with you? Why don’t you make today the day of repentance so you can experience the joy of His forgiveness and joy and peace in your heart?