“Exposing the Exodus”
The Preparation of God’s Servant – (Chapter 4 Verses 10-17)
Moses, for long enough now has been expressing his fears and doubts. God has met him with both signs and words that you would think would maximise anyone’s assurance. Every issue possible has been dealt with, you would think anyway. Alas, now his complaints become more specific and personal. “I am no eloquent…I am slow of speech and of tongue” (v10). In New Testament terms we talk about various callings, to ministry, offices etc. But in reality there is only one calling, by God through Christ, to be a Christian. From that point on we are all to be engaged in the business of extending the kingdom of God with whatever gifts have been afforded us. With regards to Moses complaint here (v10), it is a certainty that natural gifts and secular training are not sufficient for God’s work. Not all the wisdom of Egypt, Oxford or Cambridge will do. In these departments Moses was skilled indeed. Neither did the solitude of the desert equip him, forty hears in Egypt and another forty in the Midian desert school, yet here he is full of unbelief and self-will. This shows us does it not that a monastic life or cultured society and learning are insufficient to destroy the hostility of a mind hostile to God. It is true Moses is much more sober. But faith, courage, obedience are deficient. It’s grace not natural ability or learning that is needed.
Don’t misunderstand me, all the experiences of life and all his learning go together to make Moses the man he is and will be. We neither despise learning nor God’s providential dealings with us in life. What I am saying is the in themselves they are not enough. A man may be a teacher in the educational system, but be totally unsuited for pulpit work. Every Christian can pray, but not every Christian can lead a congregation into the presence of God. In today’s climate it seems that anyone will do. Who made man never mind his mouth (v11)? God has chosen, called, saved, and sanctified his servant and now he is sent. God has dealt with Moses personally and directly, revealing his holiness and avowed covenant faithfulness and assured of his divine presence in every difficulty. All this is grace, it is sovereignly given. And it amounts to a definite call. These and more are a prerequisite for effectiveness in service. There must be a personal knowledge of God and definite call from God. It is both objective and subjective. All this aside, every Christian is called to follow Christ, then to use their God-given gifts to build the church. The question begs itself, what gifts do you have and in what way are you using them?
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)