There’s quite a lot packed into this chapter of Exodus, from the stubborn reluctance of Moses, to the wondrous signs of God, to the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, to the faithfulness of Zipporah to circumcise her son. Here’s a little bit of unpacking we can do.
First, the discourse Moses has with the Lord—God gave him the command to go back to Egypt and lead his people out of Egypt, (3:10), now, standing still before God, Moses is filled with fear. Instead of responding with obedience and faith, he can only see his own inadequacies. He suggests that the leaders of Egypt won’t believe him when he goes to them that it is the Lord who has sent him; he “reminds” God that he’s not a gifted speaker, and who’d listen to a guy with a slow speech and tongue? God, of course, supplies all the evidence needed when he shows Moses the wonders he will use to prove himself to the Egyptians, yet Moses’ lack of faith persists. He really hesitates to put his faith in God for this task.
“Please send someone else,” (4:13). I’ve often wondered why God would choose someone like me for leading a wife, a family, a church, or to be useful to his kingdom at all. But it’s clear that God has never called people because they are worthy or qualified. The only power behind any of our actions is the power of the Spirit of God. God responds to Moses’ protests with this silencing rebuke:
“Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak,” (4:11-12).
The only answer for our insecurities, our doubts, our discouragement due to lack of faith: God will be with us! Let that truth obliterate your protests of fear.
Finally, I noticed the patience and faithfulness of God. Despite Moses’ faltering faith, God provided the help he needed through the aid of miracles and also the company of Aaron on the journey. How patient and forbearing the Lord is with us also! The end of the chapter points to the faithfulness of God to remember his covenant with His people. He calls Israel his “firstborn son,” because of his covenant to redeem them as his own through circumcision. Zipporah was faithful in doing her part to circumcise Moses’ firstborn son in accordance with God’s redemptive plan. Not so for Pharaoh, whose heart is hardened by God’s sovereign hand. We’ll see later, though His people are held captive by the most powerful man in the world, God will not fail in his faithfulness to deliver them. God reigns and rules everything; his plans cannot be frustrated.
“For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” Isaiah 14:27
Lots to see here, and still more than we didn’t address. What did the Lord speak to you when you read this chapter?
By: Taylor Gilliam