Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt. —Exodus 3:10
Most of us have seen or heard of attorneys in a courtroom say, “Your Honor, I object!” They then go on to briefly explain the “logical reason” for their objection. The presiding judge will then either say, “Sustained!” or “Overruled!”
When the Lord called Moses to deliver Israel from the iron-hand grip of a 400-year Egyptian bondage (Exodus 3:1-10), Moses voiced a number of “objections” regarding what seemed to him an absolutely impossible task. He cited…
- His own inadequacy— “who am I?” (Exodus 3:11)
- Israel’s potential doubt regarding God’s identity and character— “what is His name?” (Exodus 3:13)
- Israel’s possible disbelief and rejection of his message—“…suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’ ” (Exodus 4:1)
- His own lack of eloquence— “…O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)
Then there was…
- His own unwillingness to obey God’s calling— “But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else [i.e. somebody else] You may send.” (Exodus 4:13).
Later, after returning to Egypt to deliver God’s message to Pharaoh, Moses objected again by pointing to…
- His seeming lack of success—“For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.” (Exodus 5:23)
- Israel’s rejection of him—“The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me…” (Exodus 6:12)
- His inability as a speaker—“. . . for I am unskilled in speech” (Exodus 6:12 NASB).
To all of Moses’ objections God basically said, “OVERRULED!” Why? Because God’s power was more than adequate to overcome all of Moses’ human inadequacies. In fact, the Lord proved this to Moses by turning his staff into a serpent and then back to a staff again (Exodus 4:2-5). He also turned Moses’ hand leprous and then immediately restored it to health (Exodus 4:6-7).
Later, God’s power would be demonstrated in His bringing ten terrifying trials (plagues) upon all of Egypt, the most terrifying being the death of all the firstborn males.
As Moses learned in Exodus 3:10-15 (and throughout the rest of his life), it is not who we are that’s important, but who God is! That’s the crux of the matter. Moses said, “who am I?” (v.11). But God said, “I am who I am” (v. 14)!
A special calling
God specially called Moses to proclaim His truth of deliverance and salvation to Israel. He also promised that He would be with Moses to empower him to obey that special calling (Exodus 3:10-12; 4:12,15) and give him supernatural success in carrying it out (Exodus 3:15-18).
Witnesses in the world
Today God has called us as Christians to be His witnesses in this world (Acts 1:8), and has sent us out to proclaim the good news of salvation and deliverance from sin—a deliverance that is found only in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15).
He has also promised to always be with us (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5), and to supernaturally empower us by His Spirit to successfully obey and fulfill that high calling (Acts 1:8).
The Word of God as our resource
Not only that, but we’ve been given the Old and New Testament Scriptures to encourage, guide, and direct us, as well as give us confidence in the fact that God is Who He says He is, and that He has the power to do what He says He can and will do.
The completed canon of Scripture testifies to that which God can do (giving us far more revelation than Moses had, by the way). God’s power is unlimited (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Mark 9:23; Philippians 4:13), and His Word is absolutely true! (Psalm 119:160; John 17:17). What more could we ask for?
Why we still object
However, there are still times when we as believers in Christ raise objections that sound much like those of Moses.
- We, too, cite our own inadequacy, whether it’s in terms of a lack of status, a lack of knowledge, poor speaking ability, or a lack of skill/giftedness. But God’s Word says, “our sufficiency (adequacy, NASB] is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
- Sometimes we may think that people will reject us or the gospel message we share and proclaim. As a matter of fact, sometimes they will. However, at other times we will have the joy of seeing a person receive forgiveness and eternal life as they are born again by the Spirit of God.
- There may also be occasions when we, like Moses, simply want God to send someone else to speak for Him—anyone but us! But what joy and blessing we experience when we yield to God’s Spirit and obey God’s will!
Pushing God over the edge
As we look at God’s calling of Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt, we see that God patiently listened to each of his objections. Yet we’re told that eventually Moses pushed God’s patience to the max— to the point that God’s anger “was kindled against Moses” (Exodus 4:14).
Instead of trying God’s patience with our inadequate and selfish objections, how much better it is to trust His word and obey His commands! May God make it so, as we agree to be faithful witnesses and Spirit-empowered servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.