The book of Exodus is rich in stories: Hebrew mid-wives protecting the newborn children, Moses drawn out of the Nile River by Pharaoh’s daughter, the cry of the Hebrew slaves for God’s mercy. The central story is the exodus itself as God battles Pharaoh for the freedom of the Hebrew slaves until Pharaoh’s army drowns in the Red Sea. What a spectacular victory, worthy of song and dance (Exodus 15:20-21).
Yet my favorite story is the call of Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3). God calls out of the bush to Moses by name. He tells Moses to remove his sandals because he stands on holy ground. God continues, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I have heard the cries and know the suffering of my people in Egypt. I will bring them to a good land flowing with milk and honey. I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt.”
One can hear Moses cheering through the first part of God’s speech. “Yes, Lord, it’s about time you set your people free.” But then Moses’ cheering stops when he hears God’s plan includes him. Immediately Moses interjects, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Moses then puts forward five different complaints as to why he should not be the one. My favorite comes at the very end, “Oh my Lord, please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13).
I confess that I see myself in Moses’ response. Like Moses, I know that there is mistrust, injustice and need in the world. Like Moses, I know that God needs pioneers who will prepare the way of God and lead God’s people to freedom. Like Moses, I know God is pulling at my heart, mind and soul to be a leader. But like Moses, I too often say, “Lord, send someone else!”
The good news in this story is that Moses, after complaining long and hard, went to Egypt and confronted Pharaoh. Moses caught fire and blazed with God’s Spirit. God is trustworthy to give us each the strength and courage to do his will.
To what adventures is God calling you?
Lord Jesus, give me ears to hear and feet to follow.