At church, my senior Pastor has been preaching through the book of Exodus, and it has me thinking; that story is pretty amazing. Just the fact that Yahweh called a group of slaves his people is incredible, but how he took those slaves to be his people is even more amazing.
I am intrigued by the central figure of the story: the person of Moses. The book is really an account his interactions with Yahweh, the children of Israel, and Pharaoh. What intrigues about Moses is not how perfect for the job he is – because he is a perfect candidate for leading an exodus of people – but how frail and fragile his mentality is.
The story of Moses begins in the Nile, because it was illegal for Hebrews to have babies, Moses’ family was forced to hide his presence, and most likely tried to save his life by gift wrapping him to the daughter of Pharaoh. When she found him, she raised him as a prince of Egypt. He would have had access to the best education possible at that time; he would have had access to some of the most influential persons in the ancient world; and he would have been trained in how to lead a nation. Perfect for leading the children of Israel out of slavery.
Interestingly enough, it seems Moses attempted to free the Hebrews by killing a guard who was abusing one of workers. When Pharaoh heard this he was upset, and wished to kill Moses. Moses fled Egypt in disgrace. He went to the middle of nowhere and spent the next forty years of his life as a shepherd in the wilderness. Moses, who once was one of the princes of Egypt, now a shepherd, the job usually reserved for children. Moses stood there for forty year – a whole world of potential – watching sheep graze. I do not think we should under estimate this facet of his life.
The story of the Exodus is intriguing not just because God freed a nation of slaves from bondage, but the fact that he used an insecure man who stuttered and stammered his way through leadership. He needed his brother to speak for him, his father-in-law to give him counsel, and an assistant to help him in the actual process of leadership. God did not pick the type-A go-getter leadership guru guy, he picked an insecure, stammering man who had spent half of his life running away from his potential.
This speaks to me because this is sometimes how I feel. When I graduated from Asbury, the President, Dr. Ellsworth Kalas, quoted the verse from the book of Joshua where Yahweh speaks to Joshua and tells him that whatever he sees is his. He then told us that the same is true for us. This is because we can see it, we have the ability to do it. People who cannot do it, do not have the ability to see it.
Yet this is so hard for me, because I see so much; yet am not always confident that I can do it. Like Moses, I stutter and stammer. Like Moses, I lack a sense of confidence. This makes, for me, Moses’ story very inspirational; if God can use Moses, he can use me for sure. This is because, it is not about my skills and abilities, my talent level; its about God’s. When Moses’ was a powerful leader, it was because he closely followed God’s lead. When Moses failed as a leader, it was when he tried to do it his own way. So for Moses to be successful, he had to realize that it wasn’t about his ability to perform, but it was about God’s ability to perform.
I need to learn that the same goes for me…