I don’t have a lot of time this evening, but I felt compelled to write briefly on what I gained from Exodus 3-4.
The story of Moses (at least through the Israelite freedom) seems bled to death — several movies have borrowed liberally from the account: a down-and-out everyman is cast out, then returns with some sort of vengeance or mission to conquer the oppressor much mightier than himself. “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “Gladiator,” “Ben-Hur” and “The Lion King” come to mind. All spectacular movies, no doubt.
So to even analyze such a worn-out Scripture seems almost pretentious. I’m sure I’ll encounter this sentiment several times as I head through the book.
But these two chapters always blow my mind, because I relate to this guy. Moses is clearly having a supernatural encounter with God — the medium He chooses to reveal Himself is slightly comical, but at a more investigative level, incredibly profound — and Moses begins to stumble over his humanity.
1) He is curious. (3:3) He sees something unusual and decides to check it out. His investigation isn’t folly. Kids are incredibly observant, but an adult, no less a seasoned believer, tends to miss out. Look around you and you’ll see God in places you don’t expect.
2) He hides. (3:6) He recognizes the holiness of God and responds in a gesture of shame. He realizes he is looking directly at the Lord Almighty and is freaked out — not because of God’s means of presentation (it’s flaming foliage, man), but because he is mortal in the presence of eternity.
3) He questions his identity. (3:11) Moses doesn’t have a name for himself, and the Pharaoh certainly does. How often have you examined yourself in the vast omniscience of God and decidedly downgraded yourself?
4) He questions the Lord’s intervention. (3:13) How quickly he forgets that the Lord is actually involved in this whole process.
5) He questions the call. (4:1) “Who am I?” Moses finds it absolutely audacious that he would even approach Pharaoh with the suggestion to release a multitude of lucrative slave labor. Likewise, we like to waffle when God asks us to do something above our supposed capabilities. His humility is brandished, on the positive side.
6) He questions his abilities. (4:10) Rather than refuting God’s idea, he begins to look at himself. This is dangerous, because it implies that our trust in the Lord is abandoned altogether.
We can mock Moses all day long for his silly behavior, but I have a hard time not comparing Moses to myself. How often have I looked at what God is doing in my life, then tried to justify everything I do and what I’m enduring as entirely circumstantial when the evidence of His existence and influence is apparent.
I hope this encourages you to cling closer to Him and to heed His voice today.