Send Someone Else

The LORD said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”

Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.” (Exodus 4:8-17)

God won’t take no for an answer. Just ask Moses! Although an Israelite, he had been raised by the daughter of Egypt’s Pharaoh. At the age of forty, angry at the mistreatment of his people by a slave master, he murdered the slave master and fled. He spent the next forty years living in exile as a shepherd. When he was eighty years old, God unexpectedly appeared to him in a burning bush and asked him to rescue the Israelite slaves from their Egyptian oppressors.

Moses doubted himself and he doubted God, even though he was standing in his presence. The task seemed impossible. When Moses tried to tell God to find someone else, God did not strike him down with a lightning bolt. Instead, God helped Moses recognize that he really could do the job. God removed Moses’ doubts, not by giving him faith, but by giving him certainty. Over time, Moses’ faith grew as he saw God consistently transform his hopes into reality. Rather than face each new crisis with hopelessness, Moses faced it secure despite the doubts. He knew that since God had helped him in the past, chances were he’d continue to help him.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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