Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016: Exodus 4-6 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 4-6

Excuses. Excuses.

Things haven't changed much since Moses' time. God asks His people to do stuff...and they make excuses.

"But they won't believe me"

"They won't listen to my voice"

"I don't have the right words"

"I am not good at public speaking"

"Why can't someone else do it?"

Moses used these excuses and if we were honest with ourselves then we will admit that we have too. Even when God proves himself to us faithfully we doubt His goodness and His plan. Moses literally saw his staff turned into a snake...and change back again. Moses experienced his hand turn white with a contagious disease that deforms and isolates people and then he experienced God's healing as it was restored again to perfect health. Yet, Moses doubted. He didn't believe he could do the job that God wanted him to. He didn't have confidence. He tried every excuse to get out of it. But God said:
11 ...“Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 

God never calls us to do something that we can't do. He stretches us. He makes us grow. He is with us through the hard times when we think we can't possible do what he is asking us to do.

I wonder if Moses heard what God was planning to do?

21 But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 

Did Moses know that this task would be more than just miracles and speeches. Did Moses understand that God was going to make Pharaoh unwilling to hear? Did Moses know that it was going to get way worse before it got better? I guess the reality is that Moses wasn't called to know any of this..he was just called to obey. Obedience to God doesn't always work out instantly and it isn't always on this side of Heaven that we see what God is up to.

It makes me think of a missionary couple that a few of my friends know. Two weeks ago, a dedicated man of God, serving in Burkina Faso, was killed in an attack. (read a bit of his story here) We don't know why God placed Mike in that place at that time. We don't know why he was killed and his associate was not. We don't know why God would choose to take a man who was serving in such a profound way in such a horrible manner. Mike was just obeying God. He didn't know where God would lead but he had faith in God. 

When God calls us out of our comfort zone, things don't always go least at first. When Moses and Aaron had their first meeting with Pharaoh it did not go well. Hardship for the Israelites came down quickly. Now they were forced to keep up their daily work quota but they had to gather their own straw before beginning their work. Not only did Moses feel that Pharaoh was against him but now he felt the pain of the Israelites as well. It must have been hard to swallow knowing that you didn't even want to sign up for this task in the first place and now it was even worse than you thought! But:

God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord.

Even when things are REALLY bad. Like, really bad...God is still God. He is Lord of all. The seen and the unseen. 

Yesterday, we dropped off our oldest daughter who is going to serve as a nanny to a missionary couple in France. Kiandra was searching for direction just as she completed her first semester of university and she wasn't sure what she should be doing. It was only a day or 2 later when I saw the posting for the nanny opportunity. It was easy to make excuses not to even tell her about the posting I had found...

"She is so young. She is only 18."

"Schooling is important she should finish her schooling first"

"She just started a job a few months ago and this position would be volunteer"

"Wasn't Paris just on the news because of terrorist attacks?!"

Yup. There were plenty of excuses to not share the opportunity with Kiandra. However, the Bible reminds us that we are to serve others and I really felt that God was calling Kiandra to serve in this way. As plans were made it became more and more clear that this was exactly the opportunity that she needed at this time. So...away she flew yesterday.

May we find a way to forget our excuses and just trust God. 

Exodus 4
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Exodus 7-9


Nathan Reimer said...

I imagine one if the hardest parts about finding the post from the missionaries was bringing yourself to sharing it with Kiandra? Might have been easy to just dismiss this by continuing to read on. What a great everyday example of the struggle to obey, we pray for strength to obey as well as for Kiandra, that she will be a blessing to someone out there and have her own faith grow. We also pray for her safety while there, and that she returns safely.

Conrad said...

Good point about being called to serve and not necessarily to understand. Part of serving is obedience to God which when called upon, we should obey. The part of not knowing, brings us to trusting God and placing our faith in Him for the unknown.

God wants us to do both. My prayer is that I would be able to obey and trust God in all areas of my life.

TammyIsBlessed said...

The depth of our faith is definitely revealed when we are able to obey without understanding what exactly God's plan is.

What I love about the story of Moses is how God does exactly what you said in this post - He stretched Moses, molding his character to do what God asked him to do, and used him to accomplish great things for God's glory and the good of the people of Israel. The change in Moses from this weak man giving excuse after excuse due to fear into the greatest leader the Israelites ever had is remarkable - and all due to God. I liked this quote from my Life Application Bible "God does not ask us to go where he has not provided the means to help".

I also appreciated the explanation of 4:24-26....
God was about to kill Moses because Moses had not circumcised his son. Why hadn't Moses done this? Remember that Moses had spent half his life in Pharaoh's palace and half his life in the Midianite wilderness. He might not have been too familiar with God's laws, especially since all the requirements of God's covenant with Israeli (Gen 17) had not been actively carried out for over 400 years. In addition, Moses' wife, due to her Midianite background, may have opposed circumcision. But Moses could not effectively serve as deliverer of God's people until he had fulfilled the conditions of God's covenant, and one of those conditions was circumcision. Before they could go any farther, Moses and his family had to follow God's commands completely. Under Old Testament law, failing to circumcise your son was to remove yourself and your family from God's blessings. Moses learned that disobeying God was even more dangerous than tangling with an Egyptian pharaoh.