I will be with you…


Exodus 3:7 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. 10 So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” 

This story describes the call of Moses to be a tool for God to set the Hebrews free from slavery in Egypt. V.7 says “I have observed the misery of my people…” so God is going to do something about that – through Moses. But Moses is reluctant. The entire idea sounds absurd. After all, Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s household. He knows how much the Egyptians depend on slave labor to produce what the country and its people need. For the Hebrews to leave Egypt would be devastating. NO WAY Pharaoh would let that happen. Period. End of story. And he’s right, of course. So how is Moses, one man, supposed to pull this off? The answer appears in v.12:

God says, “I will be with you…”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve responded to God like Moses – full of doubt because of my acute awareness of my shortcomings and limitations – which are many. Nevertheless as I’ve stumbled along with the Lord I’ve learned that God doesn’t tap people on the shoulder because they are fully qualified. God taps people on the shoulder who are willing to say “yes”, who are willing to be used by God to do things for the glory of God. In fact I’m pretty sure God often chooses people who are so obviously under-qualified so that, when they succeed, God gets all the glory. It’s as the apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament:

“God’s power is made perfect through weakness.”

Lord let it be so. Amen.

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