Summary: How God encouraged Moses to take the call to lead his people out of Israel
July 6, 2003 Exodus 3:1-10
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain." Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?"
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’" God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. "Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
God’s Call Deserves an Answer
I. Because of who God is
About three weeks ago I was knocking on some doors to hand out some flyers for our upcoming Bible camp. I noticed a young lady watching TV in her apartment. There were some old play things outside of her door, so it was obvious to me she might have some children that could come to our camp. I walked down to her door and knocked, but she didn’t come and answer. I knocked again - but she just sat there. I could see her sitting there, and she could see me standing there, but she just kept watching TV. So I left a flyer in her door and walked away, thinking to myself, “I guess she didn’t want to talk to me.” To tell you the truth, I was a little put off by it.
As I get to thinking about it, that little slice of my life is representative of how our society has become. Instead of having open doors and welcome mats, we have closed gate communities with “no soliciting” signs posted everywhere. We have caller ID on our telephones so we can see WHO is calling, and then determine whether they are worth our time or not.
Today, Moses was called by God - directly - as God appeared to him in a burning bush. He knew who was calling. You would think that Moses would have been excited to hear from God Himself. But his response betrays a lack of excitement. Why was that? Moses wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to God. It wasn’t that he didn’t love God or His people. That wasn’t the problem. What was it with Moses that made him so hesitant to serve God? Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" Who am I? Moses had gone from being a famous and royal son to being a fugitive and unknown shepherd. He didn’t feel worthy to such a task because he was just a “nobody.” Do you see how much 40 years of shepherding changed Moses. He went from picking up the phone and calling God and saying, “when are you going to let me lead,” to saying, “there’s no way I can do it now.” He was already 80 years old.
Notice that God doesn’t say, “oh, you’re not too old. You’ve still got good eyes. Your legs still work. I still think you’re ok.” He doesn’t refute what Moses was saying at all, and with that silence he was really saying in effect, “you’re right Moses - you aren’t anybody! But you still don’t get it! I don’t call you based on WHO you are or what YOU’VE done.” The call of God is never based on WHO you are. God says he chose you before He even created the world - so how could His choice be based on anything you’ve done? (Eph. 1:4) Paul says that you were born DEAD in your trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1), so how could God choose you for your abilities or looks when you were dead? It’s never about who you are or what you’ve done. God didn’t say, “hey, I think you’d make a pretty good parent, I think I’ll give you a child!” He didn’t say, “hmm, that person could make a really good Christian and spread the Word a lot, so I think I’ll choose him.” It doesn’t work that way. But like Moses, we just don’t get it because we think that God only works by works. We get angry when we see immoral people get riches and fame, while we don’t have half of what they do. We always have in the back of our minds that what we get and who we are is really based on what we’ve done. Anything you have - anything you’re called to do - is not based on what you’ve earned or haven’t earned. It has nothing to do with who you are! Oh that God wouldn’t have to send us into a desert for 40 years to figure that out!