One temptation I face often when I read the bible is to look for support of some idea I have.
I have to remind myself that I do not need support. I want to hear what God has to say instead of what I think only.
One person who heard God’s word and didn’t necessarily hear what they wanted to hear was Moses.
(Exod 3:13) And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers has sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
(Exod 3:14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you.
I’m not sure if Moses was trying to get out of it or if he had legitimate concerns. First Moses wants to know God’s name. Which seems like an impossible request since no one knows God’s name. But God tells him His name. Then Moses says no one will believe him so God makes his rod become a snake and his hand turn leprous. Then Moses says he can’t speak well so God tells him its OK to have Aaron do the speaking.
This is a beautiful part: (Exod 4:10) And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before, nor since you have spoken unto your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. (Exod 4:11) And the LORD said unto him, Who has made man’s mouth? or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? (Exod 4:12) Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall say.
Moses still resists and this kind of makes God mad.
(Exod 4:14) And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he comes forth to meet you: and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. (Exod 4:15) And you shall speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. (Exod 4:16) And he shall be your spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to you instead of a mouth, and you shall be to him instead of God.
(Exod 4:17) And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do signs.
(Exod 4:18) And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray you, and return unto my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace. (Exod 4:19) And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead who sought your life.
I think God knows one major hang up Moses has is that there are people in Egypt who want him dead. So God addresses this with Moses.
God also tells Moses a couple of things ahead of time that are important for his encounter with pharaoh.
(Exod 4:21) And the LORD said unto Moses, When you go to return into Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh, whom I have put in your hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
(Exod 4:22) And you shall say unto Pharaoh, Thus says the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
(Exod 4:23) And I say unto you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.
Once all this resistance is dealt with honestly, Moses finally does what God wants. Which is to set His people free.