Sometimes, it takes a nudge.

Exodus 4:10-17 (ESV)

But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”

Moses, you’re arguing with a bush! Do you have any idea how bad this looks? You might want to rethink your whole strategy here. This is going on your permanent record.

And, by the way, this will be the mother of all permanent records. So, how ‘bout you try letting God be God and stop acting like everything is about you, OK?

This is the beginning of a long and beautiful lesson in how God transforms His servants. Right now Moses is just a whimpering sack of low self-esteem, and God’s response at this stage is the equivalent of saying, “Now there there,” and handing him a hankie.

But Moses is on the fast track in God’s school of hard knocks. We will watch as Moses grows in wisdom and in stature. God’s agenda for Moses will be relentlessly creative. Every time he grows into his shoes, he’ll be given a bigger pair to fill.

Moses is right when he says, “I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Yet he will go on to write what is arguably the most significant literary work in history – the Pentateuch.

Moses has a lot of personal issues that he needs to overcome (or outgrow). So do we.

That’s what keeps us from answering the call. Most modern Christians just can’t picture themselves as something other than what they are.

Curiously (gloriously) God often uses trials to kick us out of our comfort zone. We need to recognize this in our prayers. We pray for our friends going through trials, but we often pray for the wrong thing. The same holds when we’re in a trial and praying for ourselves.

It’s OK to pray for trials to end, but since trials have a purpose, don’t be surprised if you feel led to pray for strength and growth instead.

And of course, pray for peace and a growing sense of His presence.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.