Moses is one of my favorite unlikeliest. First, he was an escaped murderer (Exodus 2:15) and by his own words was an illegal “alien residing in a foreign land.” (Exodus 2:22) (As an aside I suspect he wouldn’t be eligible for US citizenship despite marrying Zipporah). Hardly, the character portrayed by Charlton Heston, let’s examine how he responded to God’s call to free his people. First, he said, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh…” After God reassures Moses he will be with him, Moses still is reluctant. He asks, who will I say sent me, what will I say. (Exodus 3:13). God sounds exacerbated when he tells Moses tell them “I am WHO I am.” (Exodus 3:14). He then makes all kinds of promises to Moses about the future, but Moses is still reluctant. He says, “suppose they don’t believe me.” (4:1) so God once again has to convince Moses and gives him a magic rod, and a few tricks. Moses makes a mule seem cooperative. He next tries to beg off by saying, “Oh my Lord,… I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” God still won’t take no for an answer and gives Moses, his brother Aaron as his mouthpiece. Moses makes one more attempt to get out of God’s gig by asking permission of his father-in-law, figuring Jethro wouldn’t want his daughter to leave home, but Jethro isn’t about to go counter to God’s plan and tells Moses to “Go in Peace.” (4:18).
Can you identify with Moses? Well probably not the escaped murderer part, but it does put to question our current attitude toward convicted persons and their ability to later contribute to society, but I digress. How often when brought face-to-face with injustice don’t we ask “who am I” to do something about it. Who amongst us when called by God — decline — because we fear people saying, like Moses feared, on whose authority are you speaking or acting? What are your credentials? What group do you represent? Have you thought about speaking out, but pulled back fearing what Moses feared – “suppose they don’t believe me.” Finally, how often have you felt moved or challenged but backed away because we felt “unqualified.” You say in so many words, but “I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
As you begin the next few weeks meditations concentrate on the subtle barriers you put up to God’s call. Ask yourself, am I any more unlikely than Moses. Will not God provide you the tools like he did Moses? I suspect not many of us have come upon a burning bush lately, but I do suspect you’ve felt a “nudge or two.” Moses teaches us its okay to question our qualifications, but in the end follow the words of Jethro — “Go in Peace.”