Open Your Bible
Acts 7:17-36, Exodus 3:1-22, Exodus 4:1-17
Moses is a hero of our faith. His life is the stuff of legends—found as a baby in the Nile, talking to a burning bush, heralding plagues in Egypt, parting the Red Sea. Who can claim a life as epic as the one Moses got to lead? And what made the difference? What made this man so dramatically different from everyone else?
We are inclined to picture Moses with the face of Charlton Heston—square-jawed, steely-eyed, and full of manly courage. But his first, second, and third responses to God’s call were fear and squirming. He eventually answered the call, but courage certainly wasn’t what made him stand apart. Moses even doubted God’s ability to work through him. In his self-doubt and excuse-making, we see how afraid Moses was, running from the serpent, and trying to wiggle out of his holy calling.
Here is what makes all the difference: God’s promised presence. He said to Moses, “I will certainly be with you” (Exodus 3:12). Moses was great because he stood on holy ground (vv.5–6). He stood on the foundation of God’s faithfulness. Every word from his mouth, or from the mouth of Aaron, was powerful because they were God’s words. The staff in his hands was the tool of God’s work of deliverance. Again and again, the assurance that God gave to trembling Moses was that He, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would be the true deliverer of Israel.
When Israel rejected Moses’s leadership, they were truly rejecting God; Moses was simply the minister of God’s will and word to His people. In this we see two great truths that apply directly to us today. First, God Himself is the true deliverer. We do not lead others out of bondage. Only Christ does. We do not save.. Only the hand of God does.
Second, our own calling, like that of Moses, is to be willing instruments in the hands of God. It does not matter how feeble our voices, how weak our knees, how trembling our hearts. God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. The greatest deeds of our lives will be those in which we are malleable to His will, and in which He receives all the glory. He must increase, and we must decrease.
God graciously invites fearful and inarticulate servants like us to join in His great work in the world. There was nothing extraordinarily special about Moses, except that He was chosen by God to stand on holy ground. And thanks be to God, that the true work of deliverance is already accomplished fully by His own Son Jesus Christ!