Last week we left Moses staring at the burning bush and, according to Josephus, astonished that it spoke to him.
Anyone familiar with the Ten Commandments movie by Cecil B De Mille will remember the command to Moses to “take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3: 5a
God goes on to introduce Himself…
“I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look on God. Exodus 3:6
It is very unlikely that any of us will have a meeting like that today, yet for Christians, He is with us and we need not to be complacent with our faith. Moses wasn’t.
God went on to say…
“I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Exodus 3: 7,8
Now there is a lot there. So far Moses doesn’t know he is the one God will use to deliver them. His own failed attempt some forty years before was what brought him to Midian and his job as a shepherd.
Here it comes…
Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”Exodus 3: 10 (emphasis mine.)
What went through Moses mind? ‘I’ve been down that track before.’ Or ‘I would have been better prepared when I was younger, fitter and with all the training I had in Pharaoh’s household. Now look at me… forty years looking after sheep.’ He could have thought all of those things… even more.
Once again Josephus puts Moses reply in fuller terms…
‘but I am still in doubt how I, who am a private man, and one of no abilities, should either persuade my own countrymen to leave the country they now inhabit, and to follow me to a land where I lead them; of if they should be persuades, how can I force Pharaoh to permit them to depart, since they augment their own wealth and prosperity by the labours and works they put upon them.’
Although Moses had been very afraid, he spent a long time disputing with God.
God said “I will certainly be with you.”
Moses came back with a question that showed his mind ran ahead, as does many of ours, – who shall I tell them sent me?
You can read all the ‘questioning and answering’ in Exodus 3:12 – 4: 17
In that section… was the changing of Moses shepherd’s rod into serpent, tuning his hand leprous and make it well again. And when Moses protested that was not an eloquent man… God did not tell him that he lied, so obviously Moses had lost some ability. God told him that his brother Aaron would speak his words for him.
So we leave Moses without an argument… and us with the knowledge that there is nothing on earth that God misses. Something to think about.
Till next week,
Tread softly because you may tread on someone’s dreams