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What Can We Learn From Moses?

by Edwin van Pelt
Michael Woodruff
 

The Days of Unleavened Bread are behind us for another year. They pictured putting sin out of our lives – a process that continues throughout the year. What are we doing to put sin out of our lives? Put another way, what are we doing to rid ourselves of the things that are preventing us from growing spiritually? Let’s look at one aspect – doubt.

Doubt can be a debilitating character flaw. Moses displayed this trait when God chose him to be the leader of the Israelites. In Exodus 3, God talked with Moses about the plight of the Israelites while they were in bondage to the Egyptians. In verse 10, God gave Moses his assignment. In verse 11, Moses was showing signs of doubt when he asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

God was preparing a servant, Moses, who would help lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses was very humble to the point of lacking self-confidence and did not see himself as a leader. By doubting God he showed a lack of faith. After all, God knew what He was doing. God knew the person He was choosing had the potential to be a leader. Moses might have felt insignificant. At times we all do. But, Moses should not have thought that God was making a mistake by choosing him. There were reasons why God performed all the miracles that He did. One was to show Moses how great God was and that Moses had nothing to worry about. God could – and would – take care of him.

Throughout Exodus 3, Moses still expressed doubt. Yet, for every concern that Moses raised, God provided reasurrance. The theme of the reassurance was, “Don’t worry, Moses. I’ll take care of you.”

Even so Moses needed more convincing that he was the right person for the job. In Exodus 4, he continued to discuss the situation with God. In spite of the reassurances from God, Moses still had doubts.

Eventually God became upset with Moses’ lack of faith and his constant excuses. Are we the same? Do we exhibit the characteristic of doubt?

Moses was reluctant to take on the task that God had in mind for him. He came up with excuses as to why he was not the right man for the job. But, for each objection Moses came up with, God had a response. Moses should have known that he could not out-smart God. God does not think things through part way.

Moses came up with several excuses why he doubted that he was the right person for the job that God had chosen for him to do. If we’re not careful, we can do the same.

The first objection was that Moses had a lack of confidence in himself. In Exodus 3:11, Moses said to God, “Who am I?” Allaying his doubt, God’s response was that He would be with Moses as stated in Exodus 3:12.

The second objection Moses came up with was that he did not know how to respond when asked who God was (Exodus 3:13). Perhaps Moses thought he did not know God well enough to describe Him. Moses lacked faith and felt lacking in his relationship with God. God’s response came in Exodus 3:14: I AM everything you need. Don’t doubt.

The third objection Moses expressed is found in Exodus 4:1: What if people don’t listen? Moses felt intimidated. He worried about how he would come across. God’s response came in Exodus 4:2-9: They will listen.

The fourth objection Moses raised is found in Exodus 4:10: Moses worried about his speaking ability. God’s response is found in Exodus 4:11-12: He asked Moses who made his mouth and thus reassured Moses.

Moses’ fifth excuse is found in Exodus 4:13: Why me? Can’t you find someone else? Moses felt inadequate and inferior. He was still filled with doubt. He compared himself to others, specifically his brother, Aaron, and decided that he was not good enough. God’s response came in verse 14: He would allow Aaron to go with Moses.

For every excuse that Moses came up with, God gave a specific response. For every doubt that Moses raised, God provided him with reassurance. We should not doubt what God can do. Perhaps we have wondered – as Moses did – why did God choose me? Each one of us can come up with a list of doubts that can keep us from growing spiritually. Nonetheless, we must realize that God has called us and is working with us now. Over time, Moses eventually overcame his doubts and accepted the position that God called him to. We must do the same.

What lesson can we learn from this example? God answered every doubt that Moses put forward. God can do the same for us. We can overcome our doubt if we rely on God and ask Him to help us replace doubt with faith.

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