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Intro: The last time we saw Moses he had become a failure in trying to save his people through the murder of an Egyptian taskmaster.
Now he is in the backside of the Midian desert, married, a new dad, and tending sheep for his father-in-law Jethro.
While at Mt. Horeb, Moses sees an amazing sight, a bush burning but not consumed.
He checks it out and realizes he has come into the presence of Almighty God [ref.
Ex. 3:4-6].
Moses is fixing to begin a journey of deep intimacy with God like no other person in the bible ever has.
He is going to fulfill his destiny in life by delivering the people of Israel from their bondage in Egypt by the hand of God.
Knowing what we read about Moses previously with his zeal to save his people, Moses should have rejoiced and shouted because God was at last after 40 years answering prayer.
He should be like Isaiah the prophet saying, Here I am! Send me!
But Moses did the exact opposite [even as christians do today], make excuses of why they can’t do what God has qualified them to do!
Moses gives five excuses of why God doesn’t need to send him.
1. I’m not Qualified; 3:11-12
Moses reminded God that he was in the desert because he had already failed in Egypt 40 years ago.
Time heals a lot of wounds and time also matures people.
Moses isn’t going to do this on his own like he tried before.
God is going to free them but use Moses as his leader.
[12a] “I will certainly be with you.”
God gives Moses His assurance that He will be with him every step of the way.
[12b] God also guarantees complete success of this mission.
God says, “you shall serve Me on this mountain.”
God never calls us to do anything by ourselves.
The Lord calls, empowers and directs us.
We are His instruments of righteousness!
2. What do I say; 13-15
[13] Moses was concerned that when he was questioned by the people about God and what mission Moses was on, how was he to answer them.
Moses didn’t want to fail a second time nor did he want to look foolish before the people.
What Moses asked was, “What does Your name mean?
What kind of a God are You?”
[14-15] God explained that the name Jehovah is a dynamic name, based on the Hebrew verb “to be” or “to become.”
He is the self-existent One who always was, always is, and always will be, the faithful and dependable God who calls Himself “I AM.”
God said, “I AM that I AM.” God is the ability to become to His people whatever their needs required.
God was declaring “I will be to you whatever you need.
I am everywhere all the time, within, without, before, behind, above, beneath, past, present, and future.”
That was the message.
I was, I am, I shall be in charge of all things.
* If in darkness, Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.”
* If you need righteousness, Jesus said, “I am the Lord of righteousness.”
* If you are spiritually, emotionally hungry, Christ said, “I am the Bread of Life.”
* If you are defenseless and need care, the Lord said, “I am the Good Shepherd.”
* If you need peace, our Savior said, “I am the Prince of Peace.”
* If you need salvation, Jesus made it clear, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
* If you need security, Jesus said, “I am the door.”
Mattoon, R. (2007).
Treasures from Exodus (Vol. 1, pp. 57–58).
Rod Mattoon.
Many times christians are worried of what to say when we engage in a conversation about faith in Christ or the Bible.
We feel inadequate to talk about spiritual things.
I think there are 2 things we need to take away from this conversation between God and Moses.
We need to spend time in the Word of God to know the God of the Word.
2. We need to remember that it is not us speaking but God speaking through us.
3. What if they won’t believe me; 4:1-9
Moses was not only doubting his ability to persuade the people but more so, God’s.
Fear and personal rejection cloud our thinking and create doubt in God’s promises.
When God tells us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”, He expects us to obey, not worry about the people’s response to the gospel.
It is God’s job to draw people to Himself- arousing faith in their hearts- not ours.
[2-9] God reassured the doubt of Moses by the aid of miracles that they would believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had appeared to him.
These miracles are a sign of the power and authority of God over all things.
Signs were used throughout the scriptures to validate/authenticate the power of God, the message of God, and the messenger sent by God.
[2-4] Rod- Moses had a shepherds staff to lead sheep but also to protect the flock from evil.
He cast it down and it turned into a snake [cobra].
The cobra was very significant in Egypt.
It was on the headdress of the Pharaoh, the emblem of the goddess Buto worshiped by the Egyptians.
It was on the war crown of the Pharaoh and on the helmets of soldiers, and painted on walls and monuments throughout the land.
Moses ran when it turned into a snake.
He responded like most of us do to snakes [evil].
But God said, “pick it up by the tail”.
When he did it turned into a rod again.
God was showing Moses His divine authority over Egypt, evil and the evil one!
[6-8] Leprosy- Moses was told to put his hand in his cloak and pull it out and it was leprous.
He put it back in his cloak and took it out and it was restored.
This was a miracle of God’s power over health and disease, life and death.
[9] Water to blood- Moses was told if they did not believe him by now this last sign was a sign of judgment.
The Nile was life to the land of Egypt for agriculture and basic water supply to the land.
Turning water into blood was turning life into death for the Hebrews and the Egyptians.
Take your Bible in your hand.
It is the rod of God that leads, protects and provides for His people.
It is the assurance of His authority over evil, sickness and disease, life and death, but it also is His authority by which He will judge the nations.
At this point, there should be no excuses left for Moses nor us of why we shouldn’t go when God calls us!
4. I’m not a Public Speaker; 4:10-12
I’ve heard this excuse a thousand times and used this excuse myself.
“I AM” is all we need, not “I Can’t”.
If God can turn rods into serpents and serpents into rods, if He can cause and cure leprosy, and if He can turn water into blood, then He can enable Moses and us to speak His Word with power.
Before Moses fled Egypt, he was mighty in words and deeds.
What happened?
Forty years of being comfortable in the desert cooled his convictions for the work of the Lord!
Too often christians do the same thing by getting comfortable in the pews and the passivity of a weak pulpit and just go through the motions of religion instead of growing in a relationship.
[11-12] God said, “I made your mouth and I will teach you what to say.”
I don’t want to go; 4:13-17
Moses just flat out refuses to obey the Lord.
He was honest but foolish.
He had begun by telling the Lord, “Here I am” (3:4c), but now he says, “Send someone else.”
Many Christians say, “Here I am, Lord,” until they find out what He wants them to do; then, they too say, “Send someone else.”
[14] God gets angry with Moses, but God wouldn’t take no for an answer!
He simply told Moses that his brother Aaron would speak for Him but Moses still had to go.
When God’s plan involves you, you can go with joy and thanksgiving or kicking and screaming!
But you’re gonna go!
Neither Moses nor Jonah nor you or I or anybody can thwart the plan of God.
[15-17] God in His righteous anger gives encouragement to Moses through Aaron, his brother.
Aaron will be the spokesman for Moses.
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