May 20, 2011
The Prayer Life of Moses
Exodus 4:16, page 92
God Teaches Success
“You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do.”
Moses has been talking with God at the burning bush. God has explained His plan of deliverance for the people of Israel, and now, Moses responds with doubts. Moses, just like us, tries to explain to God why Moses himself cannot be the spokesman for God. Let us look at how God resolves doubts with Moses and teaches Moses how to succeed, in spite of Moses’ self-imposed limitations.
The Never Eloquent Problem. Moses claimed he was never eloquent, neither recently nor in times past. He claimed to be slow of speech (“כְבַד-פֶּה“) and slow of tongue (“וּכְבַד לָשׁוֹן“) (Exodus 4:10, page 92). You can just hear Moses trying to tell God he cannot do this mission. Moses has profound doubts about his own capabilities. In this sense, Moses portrays a perfect attitude of knowing about his own shortcomings. God never picks the wrong person for the plan, but He must mold the man to the plan. In this case, God provides a clear solution to the problem.
I Will Teach You What To Say. God knows how to overcome human weakness. While Moses saw only his own problems, God reminded Moses of three facts: (1) God made Moses’ mouth; (2) God made Moses without muteness, deafness, or blindness; (3) Yahweh is the LORD of all creatures, including Moses, because He made them and controls them (Exodus 4:11, page 92). God then adds further: “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say” (Exodus 4:12, page 93). God commanded Moses again to “go,” but Moses did not yet believe that God would help him in every way and overcome his own weakness in speech. God specifically promised to teach Moses the very words to say.
Moses Angered God. Once God has told you to “go” and you still persist in your doubts about God’s plan and power to accomplish it using you, then you are taking deliberate steps to anger God. Moses responded to God: “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will” (Exodus 4:13, page 93). God expects us to trust Him absolutely and completely. Notice that only in anger with Moses did God agree to send Aaron (Exodus 4:14, page 93). God knew already that Aaron speaks fluently, but of course, God knew that when He chose Moses to speak. God does not have to pick the most fluent person, because God intends to provide the words for the speaker.
God Always Overcomes Our Limitations. Moses held fast to his own limitations, but God overcame them. God will always overcome our own limitations, and He will always achieve His plans. Nothing can overcome God’s will, but we can hamper how we fit into His will. When we persist in telling God He cannot use our limitations, then we anger God. In this case, God told Moses that He would teach Moses what you are to do (Exodus 4:15, page 93). When we really grasp this promise from God, then we count upon God to teach us everyday. You may recall that Jesus said that His disciples should call no man teacher, because Jesus alone is the Teacher (Matthew 23:8, page 1542). God also promised Moses that Aaron would speak for Moses to the people. Aaron would be the mouth for Moses and Moses would be as God to him, regarding speech (Exodus 4:15-16, page 93). Finally, God tells Moses to take his staff in his hand, because He will perform signs with it (Exodus 4:17, page 93). That staff would become a symbol for Moses and others of the power of God working to change men and accomplish His divine plans to break oppression and deliver His people.
So we learn more about the prayer life of Moses.
● Prayer means that God listens carefully to every limitation we seek to impose on His plans for our lives. Sometimes, we anger Him when we refuse to embrace His plans instead of cling to our limitations, as we perceive them. God knows all about our own limitations, but they never limit His power to overcome them.
● Prayer means that God requires us to trust Him with His plans. God has a solution for every issue we raise, and He has considered all of them before He shares His plans. We limit His plans with our dogged determination to cling to our own sinful perceptions of His ability to use us. We must embrace by faith His plans without limitations.
● Prayer means that sometimes we feel God burning with anger. Moses certainly angered God with his prayer. Even so, God worked with Moses and used Him to His glory. Fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit helping us pray today and interceding for us, because we do not know how to pray (Romans 8:26, page 1869). God will always teach us what we are to do. He will teach you right now everything you need to know to do His will today. We need to hold our staff today and expect God will use it and us to His glory today.
Application for Today
The Lord Jesus made you and you never need to fear what you are to say or do for God. He leads you and teaches you everyday. As you look back over your life, have you seen God working? Are you holding your staff (symbolically) in your hand today, and expecting God to use you? If you need to take the staff again into your hand, why not do it today? Why not expect today that God will teach you everything you need to know and speak today?