WORD: Exodus 3:3-15 (NLT)
3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
4 When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
5 “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
7 Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt….9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”
13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”
14 God replied to Moses, “I am who I am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
Moses was 80 years old when God appeared to him and told him that he was chosen to become the leader of an emerging nation. Surely God could have found a more charismatic leader, younger at least, and more eager for the opportunity.
But the backstory is that God had been preparing Moses since birth for this assignment. Moses was born to Hebrew slaves in Egypt during a dangerous time! His mother hid him from government soldiers for three months, but then could no longer protect him. She did all she knew to do, putting him in a floating basket in the Nile and posting her older daughter there to see what might happen. Pharaoh’s daughter found him and adopted him as her own son, hiring his own mother to be his wet nurse. Now what would Moses have learned as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter? Exodus 2:1-10
After he had grown up, Moses kills an Egyptian in an attempt to deliver justice to his people. He must have felt strong, empowered, righteously indignant. He was attractive, but not yet ready to be God’s chosen leader. After fleeing Egypt in fear of his life, he becomes a shepherd for his new father-in-law in the much-less-important land of Midian. Forty years, he herded sheep, learning perhaps humility, learning how solitary and lackluster leadership can be. Exodus 2:11-24
These forty years were shockingly different from the first forty, but apparently necessary because only afterwards did God determine that it was time to act. Exodus 2:25
It does seem that God had a plan both for the nation He was creating and for the Leader that He had chosen for it.
As we look around for national leadership, perhaps one of our questions could be who has God been preparing for this role? What in his/her life’s story would suggest that God’s plan for the person and God’s plan for this nation intersect?
Even the Hebrew slaves often doubted Moses’ leadership, so it is not always easy to see God’s plan, but the more submissive we are, the less independent we desire to be, the more likely we are to find His person, His way.
Prayer: Open our eyes and our hearts, Lord, to see those who want to lead our nation with your eyes. Give us wisdom and insight to discern how you may have prepared some person for national leadership, but protect us from mistaking our own wisdom for yours. Amen
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