I don’t know about you, but when I’m invited to lead something or work on something that’s new to me, I can freeze up a little. I feel honored and excited to try something new. I feel expectant that I will grow in my leadership abilities and learn new skills. Yet I also feel my heart begin to beat faster and harder in anxiety. My hands begin to sweat as I wonder if I will be able to follow through with what’s been asked of me or if I will royally screw up and ruin my chances of being asked to do something like this ever again. Can anyone relate?
Several people in the Bible have been faced with being invited into the unknown too. And, like us, they have also experienced the juxtaposition between elation and complete fear at the task before them. Last week we looked at the call of Abraham. As God called Abraham into the unknown, he also made some very significant promises to him. This week we will be looking at another promise of God- God’s first promise to Moses. Like Abraham, God not only makes significant promises, but poses a significant invitation as well.
1Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 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. 8 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. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you.”
Questions to Consider
- Imagine what the burning bush looked like. Why does Moses move closer to the burning bush?
- What does God promise Moses?
- What do you think Moses would have been thinking as God promised these things?
- What do you think Moses would have thought as God revealed that he was sending Moses to be part of carrying these things out? How does Moses respond to God’s promise and invitation?
As I read this passage, I imagine Moses listening intently- in awe of the miraculous way God is talking to him and filled with peace as God reveals that he will finally deliver the Israelites from their oppression. Then, as God tells Moses that Moses is the one that will lead the Israelites out of Egypt, I imagine Moses doing an almost comedic double take. God wants him?
Later in the same conversation, Moses would continue to question his part in what God promised. This is an interesting thing to take note of: Moses doesn’t question God’s faithfulness or ability to follow through on His promise, but Moses does question his own abilities to be used by God to fulfill the promise.
How often do we, like Moses, disqualify ourselves from something God has promised us or invited us to do? Moses is so sure that he is not the right person for the job, and yet God wasn’t worried at all about Moses’ ability to do what He had asked him to do. Why is that? Could it be that God was going to stay with Moses and equip him in the ways that he needed? Could it be that Moses was in fact capable?
Many of us, like Moses, question God’s ability or desire to use us. We may trust that God follows through on his promises, but we don’t believe that we are good enough be part of doing his work or that we are worthy to receive what he has promised. We think we have to make ourselves perfect in order to be good enough. Yet, just as God stayed with Moses and equipped him to lead, God will equip us for the things He invites us into as well.
Hundreds of years later Jesus would sacrifice his life for ours on a cross and rise again three days later. In doing so, he would defeat all death and sin that has ever and will ever be, delivering us from our bondage. Where God had invited Moses to take part in delivering the Israelites from their oppression in Egypt, Jesus would become our perfect deliverer and the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise of deliverance.
We do not need to be perfect to be loved by or used by the Lord because Jesus lived perfectly and sacrificed himself in our place. Jesus delivered us so that we could be in relationship with and work alongside the Lord, no longer bound by the things that we think disqualify us.
Take some time to reflect with God: Have you ever disqualified yourself from something God promised or invited you into because you thought you weren’t good or perfect enough? Ask God how he sees you.