By Sandy Shaw
How would react and respond if Almighty God revealed Himself to you?
We have recently been studying Exodus Chapters 3 and 4 where God has revealed Himself to Moses - and called him - and has given him mighty words of assurance and reassurance - and His promises are so vivid and specific and clear.
And yet, Moses begins to argue with God - he tries to wriggle out of what God has called him to do.
Yes, it was a big task, but God has spoken, and God promised to be faithful, and Moses had been told that the elders of Israel who were still slaves in Egypt, would listen.
The problem at this point was that Moses would not listen.
God gave him these three confirming signs - the rod that turned into a snake - the hand that became leprous and then whole - and the water becoming blood.
But, Moses continues to argue. He appears to have one excuse after another.
Have you ever tried to help someone and they pour out one excuse after another regarding how they cannot be helped, and how it would be far better to go and get someone else to help?
We have to be cautious about rushing into a work for Jesus Christ at time. Moses had already learned that sad lesson - but on the other hand we have to ensure that there is no unwillingness in our heart when Jesus comes and calls and chooses.
When Jesus comes at 8 or 18, 28 or 80 - the potential remains terrific, tremendous, and also perhaps terrifying. But to say "NO" may mean that for the remainder of your life you have to live with the memory of that act of disobedience. It is possible to say "NO" in a few seconds and have to live with it for years.
In Chapter 4 at verse 10, Moses is still trying to wriggle out of obeying God - I am not eloquent - I never have been - Lord, I never will be. Well, he has done not too badly so far!
In Acts Chapter 7 verse 22 we learn that Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
Never try to argue with God - and never make excuses for not doing what he wants you to do. In the end He will win.
Moses is trying to suggest that he cannot string two words together. When has that ever been a requirement for service? When has that ever been necessary for obedience? Obedience comes first, and then we leave the rest to Jesus.
God has to ask Moses, Who made you? Who made your mouth? The word continues - Now Go - I will help you speak - I WILL - there is His name again - I am the One Who helps you to speak. I am the One Who teaches you what to say.
Jesus Christ can use a person who does not think that he or she is fit for the job. He fits us for the job He gives us, and very seldom does He give us the job we thought we were fit for.
But - in all this arguing - Moses is getting nearer and nearer the real reason - send someone else - that was the real trouble all along. "Lord, I question your choice! Go and get someone else." And He did - but He also said - You are coming too.
No matter how much we argue with God, there are times when HE will not take "NO" for an answer. His final word to Moses is - just run along now like a good little boy and I will get someone else to do the bits you think you cannot do - but you will do what I have called you to do.
We can make God angry, by pushing the job onto someone else. Never push the work which He has called you to do onto someone else. Moses here is questioning God's authority and God's ability.
When we do that we normally say "NO"!
Moses had to live with this, and when you read on we see he lived to regret it. He declined to lead, and he is punished. Moses lost a blessing that day.
It can be the same with us. If we do not accept God's call, we will see someone else do the job we were called to do - and that must be SORE! That must cause some people PAIN.
That is why we have this word. We do not need to be wounded in this way - there will be plenty of other wounds which we have to bear and which we are meant to bear.
God goes on to tell Moses that he is appointing Aaron to be the mouthpiece. You will be the one with authority - you will carry the rod - you will be God to Aaron - you will tell him what to say - and you will put words in his mouth.
Aaron must have been very gracious indeed to have accepted all this from his wee brother. Moses was three years younger.
Just how do we react and respond when God calls in a very real and significant way?
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.