You know what happens when life gets tough? Disbelief. That’s what. In my situation. “Why is this happening to me?” In people. “How could they do this to us?” In God. “I just don’t understand why God allowed this to happen.”
Devotional Scripture: Exodus 6:10-30
Key Verse: “The LORD said to Moses, “I am the LORD; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.”” Exodus 6:29
Pretty sure I’ve said all three. Multiple times. Multiple occasions.
So I feel for the Israelite’s. I really do. Finally, a word from the LORD. A ray of hope. Only to have all the clouds move back in and every bit of sunshine gone. “So much for gettin’ out of here. Instead, we’re all gonna die!” (My paraphrase.)
Their brick quotas suddenly insurmountable because of the decree from Pharaoh to gather their own straw, life looked bleak, to say the least.
Not even the amazing “I will” statements, the extensive promises God gave the people through Moses, helped. (Click here if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.) How do I know? Verse 9 goes on to say, “Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.”
Are we really that quick to give up on Jesus? Afraid so my friend, afraid so.
Good thing Jesus isn’t so quick to give up on us! Undeterred by the people’s lack of faith, the LORD tells Moses to high tail it on over to the palace to let Pharaoh know what’s up. Moses, however, was not so eager.
“Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?” (v. 12) Once again Moses’ insecurities were getting the best of him. (I hate it when that happens.)
Scholars differ as to whether Moses was merely referring to his lack of eloquence by using the phrase uncircumcised lips or if he was thinking back to the little circumcision issue that took place on the way to Egypt (Exodus 4:24-26).
Either way, I think it’s safe to say, Moses was feeling inadequate. After all, the people were upset with him. Pharaoh had scoffed at him. And nothing had gone as planned.
Furthermore, he was just an ordinary run of the mill kind of guy. Distinctly pointed out to us, in the latter half of this chapter, in the brief genealogy given for Moses and Aaron.
At first glance it might seem like an odd place for a genealogy. But God’s timing is always perfect, right? Nestled between bookends of Moses declaring his inability, it’s a final reminder of Moses’ humanity before things really get rolling. Before we see the power of God pour through Moses in ways that make children’s fairy tale books look boring.
But it wasn’t because Moses was something special. Nope. And what’s more, he had a sketchy family. Check out verse 20. “Amram took as his wife Jochebed his father’s sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses.” Mmhmm, you read that right, Moses’ dad married his aunt. Sure things may have been different back then and it’s quite possible they were even close in age, seeing as women had babies much longer than they do today. (God bless them.) But I couldn’t help but bring it up.
Secondly, the genealogy makes it clear, Aaron and Moses are from the tribe of Levi. Which will be extremely important when we get to the Tabernacle. (The Levites were the priestly tribe.)
But what we need to see today, is that it wasn’t a descendant of everyone’s beloved Joseph that God chose to lead the people. It wasn’t even a descendant of Judah, the kingly tribe, from which David and Jesus descended. It was from the tribe of Levi.
Cursed by Jacob for his anger (Gen. 49:7), do you remember what Levi did? Killed all the men of Shechem, alongside brother Simeon. Because the prince of Shechem had raped their sister. It was bloody and messy. And a stain on Jacob’s family the rest of their lives.
This the family line Moses laid claim to. Yet, God chose him anyway because our past doesn’t disqualify us, it equips us. With a story to tell. Setting the stage for God to glorify himself. Yet much of the time, we think the opposite.
God can’t use me, just look at the family I come from.
Look at my past.
Look at my mistakes.
My inadequacies. My inexperience. My education. My lack of credentials. My reputation.
And before we know it, disbelief sets in.
But it’s not about our past, it’s about His presence. It’s not about our mistakes, it’s about His mercy. It’s not about our inadequacies, it’s about His supremacies. Nor is it about my lack of experience because all that really matters is His equipping.
God’s power is made perfect in weakness my friend. His glory shines best when I can’t, but He can. Moses couldn’t free the people. There was no way. But God could and God did.
The point? It wasn’t about Moses and his inadequacies. It wasn’t about the people and their disbelief. It wasn’t even about Pharaoh and his hard heart. It was about God and his power working despite humanity, on behalf of humanity, and in response to humanity.
It’s not about us, it’s about Him. An All-powerful, All-mighty, All-consuming, All-ready-got-it-taken-care-of God, who’s always faithful.
God’s reminder to Moses over and over was four words, “I am the LORD” (Ex. 6:28). Because that’s all Moses needed to remember.
Beloved of God. It doesn’t really matter if we can’t, what matters is God can. Every day, every hour, every minute He is the LORD, and He can.
Contemplate and Evaluate:
What disbelief are you struggling with today? What steps can you take to trust the God who always and forever can even when we can’t?