Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Moses' Call: No Excuses

Let's look next at the call of Moses - Exodus 3:1-4:7.  I imagine you know this story.  Moses is walking and sees a bush that is burning but is not being consumed.  

First of all, look at verse 3:3 - "Then Moses said, 'I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.'"  That tell us something about call.  To hear God's call, we have to be willing to turn aside from what we are doing and look.  Listen.  Participate.  One might say that Moses couldn't help but see a bush on fire that wasn't burning up, but think about how much attention you have to pay to something that is burning to notice that it is burning, but not being consumed.  This requires some attention.  It might not be obvious.  And, I daresay, our calls are not nearly as dramatic as a burning bush, most of the time.  To hear God's call, we have to turn aside, and pay attention.

So once Moses approaches, and listens, he is not as eager as Abram was.  Moses offers many excuses:
  • 3:11 ButMoses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and  bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
  • 3:13 But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The  God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his  name?’ what shall I say to them?”
  • 4:1 Then Moses answered, “But suppose they do not believe me or listen to  me, but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you
  • 4:10 But Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I have never been eloquent,  neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I  am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
  • 4:13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send someone else.”
After each of these questions and excuses, God answers.  God participates in this conversation.  God does not blow out the burning bush and abandon Moses to his questions and doubts.  He answers them.  

I love Moses last, probably exasperated, comment.  "O my Lord, please send someone else."  The answer to that plea was no.  God sent Moses.

I think this tells us that call is sent in relationship.  A call is not usually a plunking down of an assignment with no interaction with God.  If you have doubts and questions, God wants to hear them, and God wants to respond.  Your doubts do not disqualify you.  

And no matter how much we want God to find someone else, we each have a call.  Even if we say no, we still have a call. Maybe it changes with circumstances, but God will not leave us alone.  We have a call to answer.  

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