Moses’ Complaint ( by Carley Evans )

Moses complains to the Lord that he’s never been eloquent, even after God starts speaking to him. Rather, says Moses, “I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4:10, NIV) Rightfully, God declares, “Who gives man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” Then God tells Moses, “Now, go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:11-12)

Even with this awesome promise, this promise to help Moses speak and to actually tell him what to say, Moses balks. He says, “Oh Lord, please send someone else to do it.” (Exodus 4:13)

God’s “anger burns against Moses.” God says that Moses’ brother, Aaron will speak for Moses who will continue to speak for God. “He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.” (Exodus 4:14,16)

God commands Moses to return to Egypt, to “perform before Pharaoh all the wonders” he now has the power from God to do. God warns, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will not let the people go.” (Exodus 4:21)

In everything, dear Lord, You own the power. You are sovereign. May we humble ourselves before You and worship You in spirit and in truth. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

“The Lord Makes” ( by Carley Evans )

“Then the Lord says to Moses, ‘Go into Pharaoh’s presence. I have made him and his courtiers obdurate, so that I may show these My signs among them, and so that you can tell your children and grandchildren of how I made sport of the Egyptians, and what signs I showed among them. Thus you will know I Am the Lord.’ Moses and Aaron go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘These are the words of the Lord the God of the Hebrews: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me?'” (Exodus 10:1-3,NEB)

Here in this one passage, we find the duality and paradox of what some call determinism and what some call free will. Here we see God’s sovereign decision making at work, His will, even desire, to harden Pharaoh so that he remains stubborn enough that God must work against the Egyptians at least one more time. We simultaneously see Pharaoh’s own will resisting God’s command to let His people go. Therefore there are two wills at work — one is God’s, one is a man’s.

Granted, God’s will is the stronger of the two; however God has not and does not make puppets. We are not automatons doing whatever it is He wants. God intervenes in time and space, but not exclusively. He is not the only actor in the play.

But to not recognize that He is the Great Director is absurd. To not realize He may step into the action and change the will of the player at His own whim and for His own purposes is a kind of blindness to the obvious truth of scripture.

God chooses. He makes choices. And, the wonderful thing is that His choices are always right, always perfect!

I Stretch Out My Hand

Moses questions, even accuses God. “O Lord, why have You done this evil to this people? Why did you ever send me?” (Exodus 5:22, ESV) Moses is disturbed because Pharaoh commands that the people of Israel make as many bricks as usual — i.e. they must meet their previous quota — only now without straw being provided. Pharaoh commands this impossible task to punish Moses and Aaron for telling him that God wants His people to come into the wilderness so “that they may hold a feast to Me.” (Exodus 5:1)

Pharaoh calls the people of Israel lazy liars — “lying” and “idle.” (Exodus 5:9,17) The people turn on Moses, saying, “You make us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and put a sword in their hand to kill us.” (Exodus 5:21)

And Moses turns on God.

And God tells Moses, “See, I make you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron is your prophet. You are to speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But I am to harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh is not going to listen to you. Then I am to lay My hand on Egypt and bring My hosts, My people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians are to know that I Am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” (Exodus 7:1-5)

Ten plagues later, Pharaoh still refuses to let the people of Israel go out from Egypt, just as God says. And God delivers Israel from “the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment.” No doubt, both the Egyptians and the people of Israel discover God is the Lord of all.

Dear Heavenly Father, open our eyes that we may understand that Your ways are not our ways, that sometimes Your plans are difficult for us to fully comprehend. Help us to remember that You are perfect, and that everything You plan is perfect. Give us the ability to trust You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.